Black Male Engagement Initiative from Knight Foundation featuring Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation.
Trabian Shorters is founder and CEO of BMe. He began the initiative while serving as vice president of the Knight Foundation. With the full blessing of his board and CEO, and with a generous donation from the foundation, Trabian left Knight Foundation on July 1, 2013 to grow the BMe Community. Trabian has a long history in building innovative networks for the public good. First as one of the authors of AmeriCorps, then as a founder of an innovative nonprofit technology support network which was backed by both AOL and Microsoft in 1999. He went on to be the director of Ashoka-US, which funds and networks outstanding social entrepreneurs, before joining the Knight Foundation wherein he managed a $300M portfolio and led Knight’s groundbreaking Community Information Challenge. Based upon the research of Daniel Kahneman, Chip Heath, Jonah Sachs, Monique Sternin and Jonah Berger; Trabian devised a community engagement and transformation theory called "Asset-Framing" and through the Knight Foundation he worked with social impact design firm, Context Partners, and marketing giant, Ogilvy & Mather, to apply it regarding black males of Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Trabian Shorters, Vice President of Communities at the Knight Foundation, argues that most people focus on negative statistics regarding black men, rather than the positives. "You're armed with all the data about what's wrong with the person across from you, and you're empty-handed about the truth about the assets that they bring," he says.