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    Program Description

    Use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. Turn the dark-skinned slaves against the light-skinned slaves, young against old, and male against female. These are your keys to control… if used intensely; the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful.
    - Adapted from The Willie Lynch Letter by William Lynch, 1712

    The character, intellect, and aptitude of an individual is far more than skin deep. Unfortunately, grounded theory in a variety of areas has linked one’s pigment to their ultimate altitude in life. In response to a growing need for a collective presence of revolutionary minded men determined to expand the horizons of others in their community, the Black Men’s Initiative was created. Housed in the Multicultural Student Services Center, the Black Men’s Initiative is a program geared toward Black males at The George Washington University and the development of their complete selves.

    Support the academic, social, intellectual and spiritual growth of Black male undergraduate and graduate students at The George Washington University by maintaining a community of men who will continuously support and encourage one another towards the end of personal growth and academic achievement.

    Defining Ourselves
    In 1712, William Lynch used the relatively insignificant physical features of slaves to define, classify, and ultimately divide and oppress an entire people long after the institution of slavery. The Black Men’s Initiative seeks to help extinguish the remnants of our own intra-racism by defining ourselves for ourselves.

    In the context of this program, “Black” refers to those across the African Diaspora who, consciously or not, directly share in the collective experience of slaves and former slaves in the United States of America. Whether you were born here, moved here, or are just visiting, we all are subject to the same historical and present burdens and benefits of befalling the descendants of slaves in this country.

    Five Fold Focus
    Presented here in a specific order, the Five Fold Focus consists of the objectives of the Black Men’s Initiative (BMI). While each focal point should exist independently of the others, ideally, all should occur simultaneously and we believe that there is an order in which they will be best received.

    Connect- Enhance and promote opportunities for brothers to meet, network, and fellowship.

    Support and Advocate for Black Men- Enhance the growth and development of the “complete” man through organized peer-to-peer and administrator-to-student mentoring.

    Display Accountability/Self-discipline- Establish a standard of excellence.

    Educate the Black Community- Support and promote intellectual, interpersonal, political, and community growth.

    Encourage Black Male Involvement- The ultimate goal of the Black Men’s Initiative is that the well-connected, supported, disciplined, educated men it produces will become proactive leaders in the communities around them.

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    Multicultural Student
    Services Center
    2127 G St., NW
    (202) 994-7010
    (202) 994-7011 (fax)