April 11, 2016
In a nation founded on the equality of all men, African-Americans have faced countless roadblocks to realizing their full potential. From incarceration and unemployment rates, to teenage pregnancy and fatherlessness, African-Americans have for too long been near the bottom of nearly every measure of productivity and healthy living.
As a successful African-American man, ESPN Analyst and South Orange, New Jersey resident Chris Broussard could have looked away from the obstacles and challenges facing his community.
Instead, he chose to act.
Inspired by his Christian faith, Broussard founded K.I.N.G.—Knowledge, Inspiration, and Nurture through God – and partnered with the Community Foundation of New Jersey to expand his philanthropic impact. More than a fund at the Community Foundation, K.I.N.G. is a movement that seeks to become a strong and visible example of Godly men uniting to better themselves, their families, their communities, their nation, and their world by standing for faith in Jesus Christ.
“As a Christian, I firmly believe that when a person makes a commitment to Jesus Christ, it changes their values, morals, and behavior,” Broussard says. “I feel the best way to help us as African-American men be the best we can be and all God created us to be—as productive and happy as he created us to be—is to help men follow Jesus. That, in turn, will strengthen our families and create a better situation for our children.”
K.I.N.G.’s mission is to empower men to reach their God-given potential in every realm of life and to help them become the husbands, fathers, leaders, citizens and role models God created them to be.
“One of the major problems facing us as a community and as a nation is the state of many of our boys and men,” Broussard adds. “Seventy-three percent of our children are raised without fathers in the home. We are roughly 50 percent of the prison population even though we are 12 percent of the national population. We lead in high school dropout, unemployment, HIV, and even divorce rates. I wanted to do my part to try to change the situation.”
Broussard notes that in times of greatest adversity, the African-American community often experienced stronger family structures because of the presence of the African American church. When, over time, the church became less of a focal point, the community weakened, said Broussard. As a complement to the church, K.I.N.G. focuses on Christ-centered brotherhood, encouragement, accountability, training, and fellowship.
To realize its mission, K.I.N.G. offers four programs: reading and mentoring for boys, particularly African-American and Latino; manhood and fatherhood training for boys and young men, again particularly African-American and Latino; marriage counseling; and career training/career exposure.
Broussard has found encouragement for K.I.N.G. among both his personal family and his ESPN family. “My parents, brother, wife, and children have encouraged me,” he notes. “They appreciate what I’m doing. We want to help unify the body of Christ across racial lines. We can have greater impact with more unity.”
Members of his ESPN family have also offered support via donations and participation in K.I.N.G. activities, including a celebrity basketball game to raise money for Eagle Academy in New York City, which focuses on black and Latino boys.
As a young organization desiring growth, K.I.N.G. chose to partner with Community Foundation of New Jersey due to CFNJ’s philanthropic expertise and respected reputation.
“We realized CFNJ could make our work easier for us by handling certain things for us,” Broussard explains. “We want to team up with other positive organizations, and to have the chance to do so with CFNJ was really a ‘no-brainer.’”
The Community Foundation of New Jersey is pleased to welcome the K.I.N.G. Movement Fund and looks forward to helping Chris further expand his philanthropic impact.