After serving as the executive director for 100 Black Men of Indianapolis for about seven years, Murvin Enders has resigned.
“There comes a time that you need a change. I felt now was the time for me,” he said. “It helps to have change.”
Enders added that it’s not in his nature to keep a list of all of his accomplishments, but he does recall that during his tenure, he accomplished many things.
In 1997 he was instrumental in working with Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Carr Darden and Pat Payne, director of Indianapolis Public Schools Office of Multicultural Education, in developing a history program for the 100 Black Men local chapter.
The African-American History challenge is a 20-week history and cultural education program designed to enhance the study of African-American history.
The program has now evolved into a partnership with IUPUI, Dr. Monroe Little of the school’s Africana Studies program, Wilma Moore of the Indiana Historical Society among others.
Enders also remembers helping begin a financial literacy program in 2003 in partnership with the University of Indianapolis. High school students meet weekly on the UIndy campus with a professor, mentors and tutors to learn about managing and investing money.
That program continues to thrive. In fact, Enders said the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis financial literacy team won a national competition three times, most recently in June.
He’s also proud of being instrumental in the organization’s summer academy including adding certified teachers and partnering with St. Vincent Unity Development Center After School Program.
During Enders’ tenure, a Team Mentoring program was started with the help of the United Way of Central Indiana. The program serves 5th and 6th grade boys in five IPS schools on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Those being mentored meet weekly with two male mentors and explore the roles and responsibilities of being a man.
Other programs that Enders is proud of is a K-8 reading program, spawned from 100 Black Men members meeting two teens who couldn’t read; and the Beautillion Militaire, a rite of passage program for males.
Through these programs, Enders said youths grow academically, have higher self-esteem, and mature among other positive changes.
“Each year we critique each of our programs. In the spirit of continuous improvement we’re tweaking and trying to make it better,” said Enders. “We’ve also grown in partnerships. We can’t do everything ourselves, nor do we try to reinvent the wheel.”
To help sustain the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis chapter, in 2009 Enders encouraged William G. Mays, chairman and CEO of Mays Chemical Co., publisher of the Recorder and a longtime member of the organization, to establish an endowment.
“This was to ensure that the programs they had for youth would not be jeopardized in any way. I made a pledge and they fulfilled it. It was Murv who encouraged me to do that and I’m quite pleased,” said Mays. “Murvin has been a good executive director and has done extremely well in encouraging people to help the youth. That’s what it’s all about, good role models.”
Enders’ professional tenure at 100 Black Men may be coming to an end, but his heart for service is forever embedded in him. He said he inherited this characteristic from his parents. Growing up in West Virginia, he and his family were always involved in community and church activities.
“I can remember at a young age ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during Christmas time. We were always engaged in helping others,” said Enders. “Then when I got to be a little older, I got involved in things like Junior Achievement and other community committees.”
Prior to working at 100 Black Men Indianapolis, the Fisk University grad worked at a Chrysler foundry in Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit. In 1971 he was transferred to Indianapolis where he continued to work, but most importantly, was able to volunteer his time.
“I found Indianapolis to be a very inviting community. They were open to getting you involved in doing things. It was a lot easier to do than it was in Detroit,” said Enders.
Dr. Frank Lloyd, who is now deceased, asked him to join 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and Enders accepted the call. He delved into what the organization had to offer including working with the mentoring program, a committee chair and eventually the chapter’s president.
He was still keeping a full time job, first with Chrysler and then at the former Indianapolis Water Co., while serving the community for almost 15 years. He ended his water company position in 2004, raised funds to support a full time position and became the executive director for 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.
Enders’ passion for youth has sustained him with the organization and he is proud to have helped grow and build 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.
“Once you get hooked, you’re hooked when it comes to helping children,” he said. “I lived ‘the 100’ 24/7. There aren’t very many people that I’ve met that I didn’t – in one way or another – talk with them about ‘the 100.’”
Enders’ resignation is effective immediately.
Acey Byrd, president and chairman of the board of 100 Black Men of Indianapolis said the group has made the executive director position public and is using Aug. 12 as a benchmark to gather candidates and begin the vetting process. He also said they won’t rush to fill the position immediately.
“However long it takes to select the right person, that’s the time we’re going to take,” said Byrd. Whoever is chosen will be charged with fundraising and oversight of the program overall.
Although Enders has resigned, he said he will continue to volunteer his time with 100 Black Men. He does want to continue to be employed but plans to spend some time with his family first.
He knows the organization will be in good hands and hopes that they continue to improve and maintain its sustainability.
“I hope 100 Black Men of Indianapolis is around for another 30 years. This can happen through awareness, relevant programs for the growth of youth and financial and human resources,” said Enders.
For more information, call (317) 920-2502 or visit 100blackmenindy.org.