Joshua Byrd, Sr. and Richard Byrd of Anti-Gun Violence Leadership were recognized at the 100 Black Men of Atlanta gala on June 24.

100 Black Men of Atlanta hosted their first in-person honors gala since 2019 on June 24, honoring Black leaders across the city. More than 850 people attended the sold-out event chaired by Ambassador Andrew Young and Billye Aaron.  

The event raises funds to provide college prep services and mentorship to at-risk Atlanta youth. Mentoring programs include Project Success, The Robotics Program, Saturday School, Anti-Gun Violence initiative, educational field trips, the Collegiate 100 and more. 

100 Black Men of Atlanta’s mission is to fund mentoring, education, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and health and wellness.

“As our organization’s signature fundraiser, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. relies on the generosity and support of our community partners, stakeholders and allies. Together, we can expand our impact by serving more children, growing our programs and increasing our presence. The youth of Atlanta need us,” said Chairman Keith Millner.

Jermaine Dupree (left) and Sid Barron

Jermaine Dupri, CEO of So So Def Recordings, took home the Andrew Young Lifetime Achievement Award for making a positive impact on the community by giving back, and representing a group of underrepresented people.

Jay Bailey, president and CEO of Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, received the Maynard H. Jackson Community Impact Award for his role in the community through criminal justice reform, civic engagement, financial empowerment or health awareness. 

Nathaniel R. Goldston III Trailblazer Award was given to Dr. Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College, for making an impression in corporate America, education, entertainment, sports or entrepreneurship.

Given to an individual under age 35, the John Lewis Emerging Leader Award went to Aundell “AJ” Terrell Jr., NFL cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons. 

Thomas W. Dortch Jr. Civic Leadership Award, given to an individual leading African-American youth in education or entrepreneurship, went to Joshua Byrd, Sr. and Richard Byrd of Anti-Gun Violence Leadership. 

Chairman’s Circle Corporate Responsibility Award recognized Delta Airlines as a corporate partner for their philanthropic impact on the city of Atlanta and metro community.

Ambassador Andrew Young, honorary event chair.

The vision of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. is to become the city’s strongest, most self-reliant African-American volunteer organization focused on education. Since its inception in 1986, 100% of the students who complete Project Success have graduated from high school; 80% have graduated from college in four years, far outpacing the national averages. Project Success is a nationally recognized program for Atlanta Public Schools students.

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.