Atlanta, GA – February 16, 2023 – On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, we lost a
bright light, an unstoppable, unforgettable force of nature. His work across many
industries, through various organizations, with several civic coalitions, alongside HBCUs
and Atlanta public schools, in partnerships with corporate foundations, and effectively
working with elected officials at the city,state, and federal levels of government always
included advocating for underserved communities, and especially for youth. As a
member and former Chairman of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. and Chairman of 100
Black Men of America, Inc., Mr. Dortch was an active member for over 37 years.
“As the members of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and friends from around the globe
mourn the loss of Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., we will forever honor his legacy through
mentorship and service to our communities, stated Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Vice Chairman,
100 Black Men of America, Inc.”
During his tenure, which included multiple terms as Chairman of the Board (from 1994 –
2004 and 2017 – 2023), many milestones were achieved by the organization. Thomas
W. Dortch, Jr. proclaimed in 1994 that the organization’s work be focused in four areas:
Mentoring, Education ,Health & Wellness, and Economic Empowerment. After meetings
with the U.S. Secretaries of Education the Hon. Richard Riley and Rod Paige and their
staff, and strategic analysis by the100’s National Chairs of Education, Mr. Dortch
directed the 100 Chapters to elevate their engagement with our public education
systems. These efforts led to chapters across the 100 network either chartering schools
or working in partnership with local schools to maximize learning outcomes.
His passion to help young people live out their dreams fueled his vision to expand the
organization’s reach. Through the corporate and community partnerships developed by
Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. the organization has grown over the years. This growth has
included the expansion of 100 Black Men Chapters globally that deliver unique
programs, addressing specific needs in their local communities. Chairman Dortch had
an unwavering belief and commitment to the100’s proven blueprint — a model for
mentoring and developing young people into future leaders —- a strategy grounded in
surrounding youth with a positive network and exposing them to experiences and
possibilities. Throughout 100 Black Men of America, Inc.’s history, the organization has
been recognized for its powerful and impactful outcomes that empower youth and
communities in which they live.
Understanding the life-changing impact that mentors can have on a young person, Mr.
Dortch worked to grow the organization by four times its size, expanding the mentoring
movement beyond U.S. boarders. Accessing his network of corporate partners, Dortch
was able to grow the resources of the 100 and move from a single staff person in a
work share space to the 100 having its own debt-free building, fully staffed and serving
the growing network of chapters. Mr.Dortch’s leadership in multiplying mentors has
been recognized by Presidents George H.W.Bush, William J. Clinton, and Barack H.
From leading grassroots voter registration efforts to campaigns for desegregating public
schools,and always working for greater economic justice, Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. just
does not stop working to make a difference in the lives of others. In his later years he
has written extensively on racial inequality and social change, shining a light on the
inequities that vulnerable populations face daily. Chairman Dortch has been in good
trouble and his continuous unwavering efforts should inspire us all to continue to fight
for underserved communities living with health disparities, education inequality, over
policing, and more.
The arc of Tommy’s life has demonstrated that you can be successful in business and
continuously serve your community. You can educate and empower others and give
voice to the voiceless by speaking truth to power, all while mentoring the next
generation of leaders. Every area of his life that he dedicated to public service is
important but mentoring youth was his passion. It comes across crystal clear in his book
The Miracles of Mentoring: How to Encourage and Lead Future Generations.
Chairman Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. was a change maker and is a legend within the
African American community. He will be missed but never forgotten. His leadership will
remain an inspiration for generations to come.