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The MLK Day Brotherhood Awards are NewsOne’s annual celebration of five important Americans who are continuing the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. — especially in the realm of cross-racial and cross-ethnic understanding.

Our honorees are the bridge builders and the nation healers.



Name: Ryan Mack

Age: 32

City of Residence: New York

Occupation: Financial Adviser

His Work: Mack facilitates economic empowerment and financial literacy through national workshops and programs.

His Brotherly Walk With Dr. King:

There is a reason I was inspired to create a national 13-city tour called “Less Talk…More Action,” which looks to connect with local organizations that provide services for people in need. There are too many people talking about the problems of society, and too few presenting and implementing solutions. God gave me an ability to communicate the principles of building wealth to multiple demographics, and I have made a commitment to use it as a tangible solution for the economic problems we face.  Whether it is in front of a group of gang members, Harvard University students, low-income families, corporate executives, on CNN, or on CNBC, I am committed to reaching out to ALL people to teach these principles.

On Inspiration:

Dr. King is more than an expensive statue in D.C. (where the funds could have been used to send some needy youth to college). Dr. King represented the adage that “none of us is as strong as all of us.” He understood that the youth were not his competition, but were his asset in the movement. Too few of those who came after him have taken the time he did to make sure that he could effectively pass the torch to the next generation.

Many times I have met those who came after Dr. King and have been met with resistance. Dr. King was never an obstacle to the next generation, but was a bridge for the next generation creating opportunities for others. He represented the best of what this country had to offer and the best way to honor him is not with a march, a moving speech, a status message on Facebook, or a material T-shirt purchased with his face on it. The best way to honor Dr. King is to get up off your *ss and DO SOMETHING to empower not only yourself, but your community. Dr. King was the epitome of “less talk…more action.”

On How We Can Continue The Work Of MLK:

It is problematic for me when we continuously point out what the government is not doing to fix our problems, as opposed to pointing out what we can do to fix our own problems. I am a strong fan of accountability and holding our elected officials accountable, but never should there be a time when we ever hold anybody more accountable for our future than we hold ourselves accountable for our future. Nobody should ever care more about you, than you care about you. Financial literacy is a means of showing through tangible action just how much we love ourselves and communities by doing the right things to empower ourselves and communities.

“I would rather help you than help self. However, I cannot help you until I help self. So that I can better help you, I will help self.” — Ryan Mack