The major initiative of the Foundation is the Ambassadors of the Evers Academy for African American Males (A-TEAAM) mentorship, character and leadership development program. The A-TEAAM inspires young males of color in middle school and beyond to honor the life and live the legacy of Medgar Evers as they interact with a “village” of role models and mentors. This ‘village’ of mentors provides support and one-on-one guidance utilizing a meaningful curriculum to empower these young men as they matriculate through middle school. The purpose of the A-TEAAM movement is to improve the quality of life for young men by equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support provided by caring mentors. The objective of the A-TEAAM is to assist the young males (called Ambassadors in the program) in making internal changes with an outcome of increased positive self-esteem and overall improvement in the way they view the world. The Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute has partnered with the JSD Foundation to implement the A-TEAAM Initiative.
In 2017, to further expand the services of the A-TEAAM, the partnership with the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and Families First of Mississippi began. This movement has empowered young males of color to be confident and to overcome the inevitable obstacles that they will encounter. This program has been implemented in five middle schools in the Jackson, MS and Canton, MS area: Blackburn Laboratory Middle School, Hardy Middle School, Powell Middle School, Nichols Middle School, and Porter Middle School. The families of these Ambassadors have also been empowered through parental involvement and teacher involvement, which are critical and necessary components of this initiative.
The A-TEAAM Mississippi is a collaborative effort with 24 community-based organizations and other partners who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Juanita Sims Doty Foundation agreeing to provide a ‘village’ of mentors for our Ambassadors participating in the program.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (Jackson, MS) serves as Honorary Chairman of the A-TEAAM program.
The A-TEAAM has yielded positive results: 51% increased school attendance; 95% increased knowledge of cultural awareness; and 61% increased positive behavioral changes.
What began as a pilot program in two middle schools has now become a National Mentoring Program. The Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute and the Juanita Sims Doty Foundation have partnered with the Top Ladies of Distinction (TLOD), a national service organization with aligned goals and values and who has 109 chapters across the United States. This partnership was launched during the TLOD 50th Anniversary celebration in Houston, TX in October 2014. A-TEAAM TLOD Sites are in Houston, TX (3 sites), Cincinnati, OH, East St. Louis, IL, Chicago, IL (2 sites), San Antonio, TX (2 sites) and Raleigh, N.C. TLOD anticipates expanding their sites in other states.
Additionally, Mayor Percy Bland and First Lady Deidre Bland of Meridian, MS have implemented A-TEAAM Meridian in three middle schools in the Meridian Public Schools. Dr. Sam Whitlow, Mr. Duane Lightfoot and the Board of Directors of the Bridging the Gap Learning Academy in Louisville, KY launched A-TEAAM Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky in 2016.
A community member willing to provide support and one-on-one guidance to young middle school male students while utilizing a meaningful curriculum to empower these young men as they matriculate through middle school. The support and guidance provided should be beneficial as the young men exit the A-TEAAM program and transition to high school.
Young males assisted by mentors in making internal changes with an outcome of increased positive self-esteem and overall improvement in the way they view the world.
In 2018, the A-TEAAM will celebrate its 5th Year Anniversary with an A-TEAAM National Youth Leadership Summit held June 8-10, 2018 in Jackson, MS. Ambassadors, parents and mentors will converge in Jackson to engage in youth-led sessions and to tour the home/Museum of Medgar and Myrlie Evers and to tour the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This Summit will also celebrate the life and legacy of Medgar Evers and commemorate the 55th Anniversary of his assassination. Further, during this Summit, the 2nd edition of I!CAN Imagine: Voices of Young Authors will be unveiled. The first edition of I!CAN Imagine was released in April 2015 with 48 Ambassadors penning essays for inclusion in this hardbound book. The 2nd Edition will have more than 100 Ambassadors from all over the country contributing essays and lessons learned from their experiences in the program. The A-TEAAM inspires young males to write their own narratives, overcome inevitable challenges and become their best possible selves
The Juanita Sims Doty Foundation is excited about the success of the A-TEAAM initiative and the support mentors have provided to our Ambassadors. Since its inception in 2013, the JSD Foundation Board of Directors is expanding its reach by purchasing a building to be used as office space to handle the day to day activities of the Foundation and its projects and programs. This Building was purchased on September 29, 2017. The members of the Board of Directors are delighted with the growth of the Foundation and the opportunity to continue to serve the Ambassadors, parents, mentors and our communities.
A-TEAAM Book Signing at Porter Middle.
A-TEAAM Mentor Organizations and Partners
International Community Ambassadors Network
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Delta Omega Chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Rho Lambda Omega Chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Upsilon Upsilon Omega Chapter
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Jackson Alumnae Chapter
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Madison County Alumnae Chapter
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Rho Xi Lambda Chapter
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Jackson Alumni Chapter
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Beta Alpha Chapter
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Epsilon Kappa Kappa Chapter
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Mu Sigma Chapter
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Alpha Delta Zeta Chapter
The Links, Incorporated, Jackson Chapter
The Links, Incorporated, Le-Fleurs Bluff Chapter
100 Black Men of Jackson
100 Black Men of Canton
Forward Lookers Federated Club
Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Jackson (MS) Chapter
National Council of Negro Women, Jackson Section
The Eliza Pillars Registered Nurses of Mississippi, District IV
Men in Action
T.C. Almore Lodge, #242
Jackson State University, Department of Communicative Disorders
Hinds Community College, Hinds Association of Legal Students
Our Ambassadors Say
Being an Ambassador of the A-TEAAM has made me a better person with the help of my mentors.
Ambassador Dezmon Lewis
I've learned many life skills during the A-TEAAM meetings, like racial healing and equity, communicating and many more.
Ambassador Isaac Bell
Like Medgar Evers, I want to be trustworthy and honest. I want to show others that I care and that I am a fair person. When I practice these character traits in my daily life, I will be working on my legacy. I am proud to be an A-TEAAM Ambassador because Medgar Evers’ legacy is instilled in me. Like Medgar Evers, I LEAD, I SERVE, I CARE!