Ford, Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Rapper Big Sean and Others Join to Expand Men of Courage on MLK Holiday

  • Notable ambassadors with Ford’s expanding Men of Courage program
    include music and tech investor Troy Carter, NFL all-pro DeAndre Levy,
    political commentator Van Jones and actor Hill Harper
  • Black men across United States are being challenged to download
    #MenofCourage digital tool kit and host gatherings to create positive
    social change in honor of #MLKDAY17
  • Dave Bing, Chicago-area Ford dealer Nate Sutton and others will
    co-host Men of Courage event for a diverse group of more than 50 black
    men this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford Motor Company is pulling together African American leaders
from across the United States to make this year’s Martin Luther King Jr.
Day a day of action for advancing the narrative of black men and
creating positive social change.

Through both an online Men of Courage tool kit and a daylong forum in
Chicago, black men are uniting to tell their stories and develop
strategies and solutions for challenging stereotypes while improving
their economic and social status. Download the tool kit from
Participants can also access #menofcourage for updates.

“Men of Courage enables African American men to unite behind a common
mission of being great family men, innovators and barrier breakers
through storytelling, visioning sessions and action pacts,” said Shawn
Wilson, manager, multicultural community development, Ford Motor Company
Fund. “Dr. King often spoke about poverty as the root cause for many of
our social ills. I’m excited to hear the solutions we develop in Chicago
and around the U.S. that will benefit not just African American men —
but all of our communities.”

The Men of Courage event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place
Jan. 16, 2-9 p.m., at 1871, Technology & Entrepreneurship Center, suite
1212 of Merchandise Mart.

A cross-section of African American men will gather to share stories and
experiences as well as to create action plans. Participants include Nate
Sutton, owner of Sutton Ford Lincoln in Matteson, Illinois; NBA legend
and former Detroit mayor Dave Bing; linebacker DeAndre Levy from the
Detroit Lions; NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis; educator Barrington
Irving, the youngest person to pilot a plane around the world solo; Bill
Pickard, founder Global Automotive Group; Dr. Anthony Hamlet,
superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools; and author and criminal
justice advocate Shaka Senghor.

Joe Madison, who discusses race, politics and social activism with a
national audience on his daily SiriusXM show, will broadcast live from
the Chicago Men of Courage forum from 7-9 p.m. CT. During the broadcast,
Joe will speak with attendees and air recorded moments from earlier in
the day to bring focus to positive African American male role models,
whether they are celebrities or ‘every day citizens.’ “Joe Madison The
Black Eagle” is on SiriusXM’s Urban View, channel 126.

Ford has enlisted African American leaders from across media, political,
technology, sports and music arenas to encourage black men to host
similar events in their homes, houses of worship and workplaces
nationwide. Notable leaders include political commentator Van Jones;
music and tech investor Troy Carter; musician and rapper Big Sean; and
actor Hill Harper. So far, 1,300 groups and individuals have organized
gatherings to take place in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey,
North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company,
launched Men of Courage in Detroit in August 2015, aiming to connect
diverse black men from local communities with a growing list of
advocates and celebrities working to create positive social change for
African American men. Ford Fund has joined with Sean Anderson Foundation
and Dave Bing Youth Institute to promote Men of Courage.

The program expanded to Baltimore last year for Martin Luther King Jr.
Day, then Atlanta for the 2016 Father’s Day weekend at the 100 Black Men
of America National Conference.

Interview opportunities for the Chicago event are available 2-7 p.m.,
with the exception of 3-4:30 p.m., when there will be a closed-door
session. For media requests or to RSVP for media credentials, please
contact Melody McDowell, 312.371.8917.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community
and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community
life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with
ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is
free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development
and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and
impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford
Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other inspiring
programs that enhance high school learning and provide college
scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists
more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local
projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in
more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit

About Ford Motor Company

Motor Company
is a global automotive and mobility company
based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 62 plants
worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing,
manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks
and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business
model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with
investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit

About Dave Bing Youth Institute

The Bing Youth Institute support programs and activities that are
designed to improve the academic, behavioral, and social wellness of
young men of color through mentorship. The Bing Youth Institute is
located in Detroit, Mich., and was founded by former Detroit Mayor, NBA
Hall of Famer, and Businessman Dave Bing.

For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and
video, visit


Ntouch Communications
Melody McDowell
Motor Company Fund
Todd Nissen