GREENVILLE, N.C. (WCNT) — People gathered in Greenville on Sunday to show the city the importance of having male figures in your life.

It’s called 100 Men in Suits, a nonprofit organization using the power of their own voices to unite and mentor those around us. What started as a vision for Marcus Exum and Glen Edwards is now becoming a reality.

On Sunday, people set aside their own individual battles to bring change to the community.

“Today is the beginning of us coming together to do more work in our community around the areas of mentoring, health and wellness, economic empowerment, and education,” said Jermaine McNair, community organizer for 100 Men in Suits. “Often times the missing link is man from the community and we just wanted to use this as a day to bring our guys together to celebrate one another.”

Men dressed in suits walked through the streets of Greenville to signify pride and brotherhood. Side-by-side they marched from Five Points Plaza to the Pitt County Courthouse.

“I think that it really does a lot to dispel the myth that they are not men in our community willing to be available and to share themselves for the greater good,” said Brandon Dawson, community organizer for 100 Men in Suits. “Today represents men stepping up to the plate, willing to lend themselves with the best ability that anybody has, which is availability to serve our community and make our space better.” 

Sporting their best outfits, the event is a way to show the community the presence the brothers have throughout the city. The men are figures, offering their time to mentor others and pave the way for our youth.

“The important piece about what you are seeing today is that our young people become what they see,” said McNair. “These brothers coming out today, to bring their best forward, is creating an image and a reflection that our young people can see. They are the most important piece of all of this.” 

Sunday’s gathering focused on the future. This comes in many forms, including teaching others how to interact with law enforcement to addressing your own personal health and wellness.

Event organizers say the first step to making change is speaking up, showing your presence and then building relationships.

To participate, text “MENTOR” to 252-493-6790 for more information.