Dallas Man Shapes Local Futures

By Kristi Nelson
|  Thursday, Feb 10, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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Dallas Man Shapes Local Futures

NBCDFW.com

Dale Long, a community outreach coordinator for the city of Dallas, was named among "The Grio's 100 History Makers in the Making."

A longtime city of Dallas employee is making national headlines because of his community service and activism.

Dale Long, a community outreach coordinator for the city, was named among "The Grio's 100 History Makers in the Making."

The list celebrates the next generation of African-American history makers and industry leaders.

Over the past 37 years, Long has mentored seven boys through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Most of them are now grateful adults, such as Michael Johnson, 39, a barber in Lewisville.

"We had a relationship (that was) real strong," Johnson said. "I was there when his daughters were born in the delivery room, and he was in my wedding also when I got married."

Johnson and Long's friendship spans three decades. They were matched together when Johnson was just 9 years old.

"Michael is now a big himself," Long said. "What a perfect testimony, what a perfect way to show how he appreciated my being with him than by doing it himself."

Long and his wife, Ellen, are now mentors together to a 7-year-old.

Long was once named Big Brother of the Year and works continuously to recruit more black men to become Big Brothers.

"It is taking the lead in trying to develop a movement among men of color throughout this country, to take ownership of young folk, young men, especially, who need their help," he said.

"I have to convince the prospective volunteer that there is value there that you can do it," Long said. "It's easy to do it and many times, we have a lot of fun doing it. I've enjoyed it for such a long time."

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