"Together we can and will make a difference".
The great social activist Mahatma Gandhi once said "Be the change you want to see in the world." Some 18 years ago a group of visionary men from the upstate of South Carolina came together with that intention in mind. These men were committed to chartering an organization that would bring together the collective talents and expertise of African American men residing in upstate South Carolina. The singular purpose of the organization that they would form would be to enhance the achievements and life experience of the people located in upstate South Carolina.
The 100 Black Men of Upstate South Carolina has been tremendously successful during its 18 year history. The chapter has sponsored education townhall meetings, mentored numerous upstate youth in Greenville and Spartanburg. The chapter has provided scholarships for college bound high school seniors and sponsored field trips to expose youth to cultural and educational enrichment programs Additionally the 100 Black Men of Upstate South Carolina Chapter has partnered with Rainbow Push, the Denny's Corporation to sponsor the MLK Legacy Weekend with Greenville Technical College and Fluor Corporation to sponsor a Black History Celebration featuring Ambassador Andrew Young. The chapter partnered with the Greenville Drive AAA Baseball Team to sponsor an annual HBCU Classic Jackie Robinson Day and were a sponsor of Hands on Greenville in collaboration with the Greenville United Way and the Greenville School System. The chapter has participated annually in Clemson University's National Men of Color Summit; has contributed to the United Negro College Fund and has participated in the BMW ProAm Charity Golf Tournament.
Although the chapter has had an exemplary past history and a strong legacy, the members realize that we cannot simply rest on past accomplishments. There is much work to be done. Perhaps the late Martin Luther King, Sr. said it best when he stated "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." The 100 Black Men of Upstate South Carolina is committed to integrity and excellence. We have dedicated ourselves and our chapter to making a positive difference in our respective communities and in the lives of others. In that regard, our organization will maintain its commitment to the highest level of service and engagement with corporate, nonprofit and community partners.
I extend an invitation to African American men in the upstate to consider becoming a member of the 100 Black Men of Upstate South Carolina. Together we make a difference.
Leon E. Wiles
100 Black Men Upstate South Carolina