Bulls recognize Youth Guidance's Becoming a Man program at first "Violence Prevention Night"
Team hosts third signature night of the season highlighting charitable focus areas
March 31, 2014 -- The Chicago Bulls held the first “Violence Prevention Night” at Monday's game versus the Boston Celtics. Through a number of pre-game and in-game activities, the Bulls honored the team’s community partners that focus on anti-violence initiatives. Staff and students from Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming a Man) program attended the game as representatives of these partners.
Violence Prevention Night is the third in a series of three Signature Nights held during the 2013-14 season to highlight the Chicago Bulls’ areas of charitable focus. The Bulls celebrated “Youth Education Night” at the November 18, 2013 game versus the Charlotte Bobcats and “Health & Wellness Night” at the January 13, 2014 game versus the Washington Wizards.
“Violence Prevention Night gives the Chicago Bulls an opportunity to shine a light on an organization that does great work on an important area of charitable focus for us and an important issue for our city,” said Nancy Reinsdorf, President of Chicago Bulls Charities. “The B.A.M. program has made a difference in the lives of students throughout Chicago, improving school engagement and reinforcing positive behaviors. Our partnership with B.A.M. has had a profound impact on our players, ambassadors and staff and we are proud to recognize them tonight.”
B.A.M. is a dropout prevention and anti-violence program for at-risk male students in grades 7-12. B.A.M. offers in-school programming, in some cases complemented by after-school sports, to develop social-cognitive skills strongly correlated with reductions in violent and anti-social behavior.
At the game on Monday, the B.A.M. students attended a pre-game career session hosted by Bulls staff, watched the team’s shoot-around, took a center court photo and stayed for the game as guests of the team.
The Bulls have partnered with B.A.M. since early 2012, arranging for guest speakers to address B.A.M. program youth groups, offering mentoring opportunities, hosting B.A.M. participants at games, providing arena tours, and organizing career presentations. In the summer of 2013, the Bulls and White Sox produced an anti-violence public service announcement (PSA) that highlighted B.A.M. Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson participated in one of the discussion circles featured in the PSA.
B.A.M. currently serves more than 1,500 male youths in close to 40 schools and has been widely recognized by policymakers, including President Obama and Mayor Emanuel, as a successful program that supports students and reduces violent crime.
Marshaun Bacon, the lead supervisor for Youth Guidance’s “Becoming a Man” Program joined BMO Harris Bank Pregame Live to discuss the special partnership with the Chicago Bulls.