David Bing ’66 BA (Econ) to deliver keynote address at SU's CBT gala

Aug 14, 2017 | Rob Enslin

David BingWhen David Bing ’66, H’06 delivers the keynote address at this fall’s Coming Back Together (CBT) gala, he will reflect on a rich and varied career in sports, business, politics and philanthropy. Do not expect Detroit’s former mayor, however, to keep the spotlight on himself.

“CBT is about people,” says Bing, speaking by phone from his office in Detroit, near downtown’s beautifully restored riverfront. “In my four years at Syracuse, I don’t think we had more than 100 African American students on campus. I still keep in touch with many of them. If you put others first, you’re more likely to succeed yourself.”  

This approach permeates the Bing Youth Institute (BYI) and its mentoring program, Boys Inspired Through Nurturing, Growth and Opportunities (BINGO), both of which the seven-time NBA All-Star founded in Detroit to help young men of color. In 2014, BINGO had about 40 students in a half-dozen schools. Today, those numbers have nearly tripled, and include more than 100 mentors.

The plight of the young African American male has reached epidemic proportions, with 62 percent of Detroit youth coming from single-parent homes. Many have no fathers nearby or positive male role models in their lives. A self-proclaimed “relationship guy,” Bing, 73, is reversing this trend by providing leadership in the face of adversity.   

“Mentoring reinforces positive decision-making, increases self-esteem and helps young men become more productive individuals,” says Bing, also a self-made industrial magnate. “Decreasing the high school dropout rate [whose national average is 40 percent among African American males] increases job readiness.”

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