Message from the CEO

I speak against everything that comes to destroy the purpose in your life, this is it! Worrying about your finances, your future, when you can't even sleep at night, this is it! I speak against depression and fear, every attack from the enemy, this is it! Kirk Franklin, Grammy-Winning Recording Artist

The Last Rumble

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused seismic shifts in our world in such a short amount of time. Just two months ago on the precipice of nationwide stay-at-home orders and the growing realization that we needed to brace ourselves for something like we’ve never seen before, I was envisioning what a 10th anniversary commemoration of CBMA's annual Rumble Young Man, Rumble gathering would look and feel like.

I'd been trying to get Kirk Franklin to the Muhammad Ali Center for the past few years to experience Rumble. I've long been a big fan of Kirk's and his song Declaration (This is It!) and video from his Fight of My Life album have always felt and looked like a Rumble anthem. I reached out to Kirk by email to gauge the possibilities of him joining CBMA to celebrate this milestone Rumble, which at the time I still envisioned would be an in-person gathering.

Kirk responded the next day with “Bro, how are you? I’m shocked that you guys are planning this right now in light of the virus. We have shut all work-related invitations down for a minute…stay safe.” Admittedly, I felt a bit unaware and tone deaf, given the urgency of his response to my invitation. Since our exchange, in-person gatherings have gone virtual and we have seen amazing levels of creativity using online platforms (including Kirk’s incredible ensemble for the viral Smile video). 

With CBMA's plans to sunset the organization -- as we publicly announced two weeks ago -- the prospect of hosting an in-person 10-year Rumble anniversary event is unlikely. Still, we have begun planning other ways to celebrate this milestone for CBMA and the Black Male Achievement field and invite you to share your top Rumble highlights with us as part of our new #TheLastRumble content series! 

Through a combination of video, images and reflections from regular Rumblers like Althea Dryden, we'll be celebrating the legacy of this signature CBMA movement-building gathering. Keep checking back in to our weekly #MissionFuelMonday newsletters and our social media platforms, and share your best Rumble Young Man, Rumble memories and musings with us using the hashtag #TheLastRumble.