Brief: Groundbreaking network of inspired black men launches with Knight Foundation funding


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $3.6 million investment in BMe, a new network of inspired black men building caring and prosperous communities. Over the last two years, working in close partnership with Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement and with support from the Heinz Endowment, Knight tested its approach by recognizing black male leaders in Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Building on that success, BMe will increase the presence and impact of those pilot communities nationally by connecting them with one another, supporting their events and projects, telling their stories and inviting people of all races and gender to join this movement. “Over the past two years, BMe attracted support from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life,” said Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen. “The power going forward will be in staying true to the vision: that black men and boys are community assets who, working together, can make our communities better. In addition to Trabian Shorters, a former vice president of the Knight Foundation and founder of Bme, the group is governed by a board of field-leading innovators, including former NAACP President Ben Jealous, Donors Choose founder Charles Best, and TIAA-CREF Senior Managing Director Stephanie Bell-Rose, who is also a Knight Foundation trustee.