When 100 Black Men of Indianapolis asked William Durham Jr. to speak about education to a group of young men about 10 years ago, it sparked his interest in the nonprofit and inspired him to start volunteering.
“It’s a ministry,” Durham, associate pastor at Christ Church Apostolic, said. “It’s fulfilling my purpose for being on this Earth, and that is to help youth and mentor youth and make sure that they have a pathway for success.”
After a decade of volunteering — as well as 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector — Durham was named executive director of 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.
Founded in 1984, 100 Black Men of Indianapolis pairs school-aged boys with mentors to focus on education and leadership development. In his first year as executive director, Durham hopes to expand the program and sign up more volunteers. His extensive resume, which includes a Master of Public Administration in nonprofit management, will help him get the job done, he said.
But, it all starts with the children.
“My experiences will benefit me because they give me insight into how the not-for-profit world works,” Durham said. “And working in education and with the Center for Leadership Development gives me insight to our youth, and we’re going to be sure that their needs are at the forefront of everything we do. … My experience, married with my ability to connect with you and connect with shareholders within the community places me at the right place at the right time to lead this organization.”
His biggest goal for the organization is to make it more relevant to teenagers today. If the programs offered aren’t relevant, he said, it’s doing the students a disservice. Durham wants to place an emphasis on financial literacy, health and wellness and pathways to success that don’t include college.
Andre Givens, president and CEO of 100 Black Men, said Durham’s background will benefit the organization and, by extension, Indianapolis.
“We are excited to have William Durham join our organization and look forward to William applying his previous knowledge, experience and expertise to assist the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis Inc. as we continue the impact in our community,” Givens said.
Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.