On Monday, January 15, 2018, the Ford Motor Company Fund commemorated the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a one day forum dedicated to elevating the narrative of African-American men in this country.

The invitation only event was also complemented by an online toolkit designed to allow participants nationwide to host a forum and join the conversation focused on the social and economic mobility of African-American men. Big Sean, NFL Hall of Famer Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, Dave Bing and Shaka Senghor were among an All-Star team that was assembled for the West Coast Launch of the Ford Men of Courage Initiative. Ford also made an announcement to expand its commitment to the African-American community with a new Smithsonian exhibit.

Launched in Detroit in September 2015, Ford Men of Courage was designed to connect diverse Black men from local communities with a growing list of renowned advocates and influencers. NFL Hall of Famer Jerome “The Bus” Bettis expressed his excitement over the project’s future plans.

“Tonight we will map out our future, and we look forward to building momentum around this movement.”

Inspired by the positive reception to the program, Men of Courage was held in Baltimore, Atlanta and Chicago with equal success. According to Big Sean, “The art of storytelling is important. We must began to change the story that is being told by mainstream media.”

During the interactive panel discussion, Big Sean also thanked his mother for her support from the beginning of his career. He also emphasized the importance of visualizing your dreams.

“Before I sold one record, I put that visual on my dream board,” he said.

The program has now grown into a national platform as part of Ford Motor Company Fund’s commitment to building communities and finding common ground to create positive social change. The Ford Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

To learn more about the Men of Courage initiative, visit www.menofcourage.com.