Chronus, the leader in mentoring software, today announced non-profit Forever Kings as the 2020 recipient of the first annual Mentoring for Racial Equity grant program. Forever Kings, based out of Cincinnati, aims to challenge the social norms, explicit biases, and stigmas associated with boys and young men of color. The organization will receive a three-year pro bono contract for Chronus mentoring software and services to support their mentoring program. In addition, they will receive a one-time cash grant in the amount of $7,500 in order to assist in the facilitation of the mentoring program.
Founded in 2019 by Jordan Bankston, Forever Kings is working to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and create a cradle to college, careers, and entrepreneurship for young men of color from fourth through 12th grade. Through a program of events, workshops, mentoring and tutoring, Forever Kings is pushing to ensure 100 percent of their members graduate high school prepared to enlist, enroll, employ, or become an entrepreneur.
“Over the past several years, we’ve seen the need, not just for greater focus, but increased action around racial equity in the workplace, in our academic institutions and in our society,” Seena Mortazavi, CEO of Chronus, said. “We felt the best way for Chronus to take action was to enable organizations already doing the hard work around racial equity and justice through our area of expertise — mentoring. We’re honored to partner with Forever Kings and are excited to enable mentoring to grow and scale within their organization to support young men of color.”
Currently serving 150 participants, Forever Kings will be implementing Chronus mentoring software to automate the administration of the program, which is currently run manually through spreadsheets, while also improving the tracking of participant activities, academic performance and engagement.
“We’re excited to implement Chronus software to better track our members and give our mentors a platform to organize members’ needs and progress,” Bankston said. “This will result in us being able to reach more young men and begin to scale our organization. Overall, Chronus will allow us to be more efficient in the work we are already doing, providing us with a platform to track our members’ success and show the world that young men of color aren’t risks, but promises.”
Chronus received over 45 applications from organizations striving to advance individuals or businesses within the Black, Indigenous and/or other communities of color (BIPOC), or educate individuals on racial equity, racial justice or issues impacting those communities. Each application was then reviewed by three different selection committee members and evaluated on the following items:
- Impact (Weight: 60%) – the potential positive impact on racial equity and/or justice for the Black community, Indigenous community and/or other communities of color that the organization could have by either newly utilizing a mentoring program in its efforts or leveraging the Chronus platform to scale its existing mentoring efforts.
- Infrastructure (Weight: 30%) – ability of the organization to meet its stated goals, based on the strength, background and commitment of the team, as well as the viability of the plan for how they will utilize mentoring to impact racial equity and/or justice.
- Timing (Weight: 10%) – the ability for the organization to integrate Chronus in their existing mentoring program or launch a new mentoring program in a timely manner.
The selection committee was made up of a diverse group of internal Chronus employees across a variety of functions, Chronus customers and business leaders committed to the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
The external selection committee included the following members:
- Laura Clise, Founder and CEO, Intentionalist
- Alicia Crank, Chief Development Officer, AtWork!
- Marsha Jones, Chief Diversity Officer, PNC
- Lionel Lee, Head of Diversity Engagement, Zillow
- Susan Long-Walsh, Sr. Diversity Equity & Inclusion Practice Manager, T-Mobile
- Macaire Pace, West Market CEO, Mercer
- Amelia Ransom, Sr. Director, Engagement & Diversity, Avalara
- Venus Rekow, Chief Behavioral Strategist, Neural Shifts
- Kim Vu, Global Head of DEI, Remitly
Forever Kings plans to launch their next mentoring cohort with the help of the Chronus platform in early January 2021.
Chronus, the leader in mentoring software, helps people connect and learn from one another in the pursuit of growth, development and support. We power hundreds of thousands of successful mentoring connections for some of the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and professional associations. Our unique MatchIQ® technology, expert support, and exceptional user experience enable mentoring programs to scale and drive impact for organizations while changing lives through the power of mentoring.
With a guided experience for participants, a mobile app for people on the go and the most configurable platform in the industry, we work with organizations to support a variety of programs and mentoring formats. These organizations include McGraw Hill, Uber, Texas A&M University, Lean In Energy and hundreds more. In addition to integrations with video conferencing and collaboration tools, like Zoom and Slack, Chronus also includes built-in video and chat capabilities within the platform for more meaningful virtual connections.