Morehouse College is one of the most prestigious and well-known HBCUs in the country. They have an amazing track record of teaching and preparing young Black men for the professional world. Now, they are taking another step to ensure their students succeed.
The Atlanta-based college announced that it has launched an initiative that is dedicated to studying the personal, cultural, social and economic outcomes of issues affecting Black men. Especially in places where the disparities exist in the United States and across the world.
The initiative will be called the Black Men’s Research Institute (BMRI).
The press release from Morehouse College has more on the initiative:
Rooted in the scholarship of the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and the creative arts, the institute is unique in its expansive focus on diverse Black masculinities and the positioning of Black men in society as it relates to the intersectionality of race, class, religion, gender, sexuality, identity, politics and policy, history, art, and other factors. By amplifying collaborative thought leadership, the institute strives to counter conflicting narratives, distrust, and ambiguity with a clear, authoritative voice on the experiences of Black men. The BMRI will also strengthen the intellectual discovery, discourse, and scholarship at Morehouse in areas related to LGBTQ history, culture, and social challenges, as well as sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny.
Funded through a four-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the BMRI is designed to facilitate learning and community engagement as well as research. The institute, in partnership with Morehouse’s Africana studies and history department, will serve as a launchpad for the exploration of the first Black masculinities studies minor at a historically Black college or university, along with an online certificate program. The institute also plans to launch an annual symposium, through which a single topic will be explored in-depth, a public lecture series, and acknowledge public and community projects that foster nuanced understanding of policies affecting Black men and their communities.
It makes sense that an initiative like this exists on the nation’s only college campus that is exclusively dedicated to educating Black men.
As mentioned in the press release, the institute will work in partnership with the college’s Africana studies and history department to help launch other minors such as Black masculinities, which will be the first of its kind at an HBCU.
The research that comes from this institute could also be impactful for the state of Georgia, which has 3.6 million Black residents, the third-highest in the country behind Texas and New York, according to the Pew Research Center.
More from the press release:
As the only higher education institution with a mission to prepare Black men for careers of leadership and service, Morehouse College is uniquely positioned to generate new scholarship centered on Black men and their communities through the BMRI, as well as to contribute to conversations and inform policy related to social justice. The BMRI will also equip Black men and allies to challenge and navigate through a society constructed in ways that may marginalize Black men’s contributions and humanity. In addition, the institute will serve as an incubator for faculty to create curricula and scholarship that can be adopted by other higher education institutions seeking to provide more inclusive and authentic education about Black masculinities. Moreover, the institute will convene and facilitate interdisciplinary research by faculty, visiting scholars, and students.
Morehouse College is still looking to hire an executive director and establish an advisory council to help organize and shape its goals, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.