By Shawn Potter
There are always factors that influence the success of male students of color. The Summit on Supporting the Success of Males of Color will take place on Friday, Mar. 4, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Dunn Conference Suites.
The event is supported by BSU’s Men Integrated in Brotherhood (MIB) and the divisions of the President and External Affairs. The entire BSU campus is encouraged to come, and the event will primarily cover strategies for supporting the success of Males of Color.
During the event, President Dana Mohler-Faria will be providing an introduction. Several pieces of data on males of color will be presented by Dr. Sabrina Gentlewarrior from the President’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Dr. Tom Kling from the Science and Mathematics Department.
Other activities that will be taking place includes small group discussions about what the campus community can do in order to promote and support males of color to succeed in college.
According to an agenda that outlines the time of each event, BSU’s Acting for Justice Student Theater Troupe will be presenting a scene focused on micro-aggression commonly faced by males of color on campuses. After the scene, the student actors will facilitate a discussion with the participants of the event.
According to Richardson Pierre-Louis, the Director for Residence Life & Housing, the goal of each activity focuses “mostly around how Bridgewater can improve its efforts in the success of male students of color.”
With this information being said, it is important to learn about one of the organizations supporting the event. You may notice many male students walking around campus with a black hat and/or coat with the gold MIB letters on it. These gentlemen are members of the group called the Men Integrated in Brotherhood.
Marvin Ezhan, the President of the MIB, has held his role since September of 2014.
As President, he explains that his duties include “calling and conducting the meetings. I must visibly support the program of the organization. Be the connection between the our members and the University. Do whatever I can to take MIB to new heights.”
The main purpose of the group is to give support, show respect, and create a sense of brotherhood with every man on BSU’s campus. He explains that, “As young men we are trying to build a strong community and promote a strong feeling of diversity. . . As students we are representing not just ourselves but our families, friends, communities and future generations through involvement in surrounding communities and campus activities.”
In regards to the event, Ezhan feels that the main focus of this event is to see what we as a campus community can do next in our efforts to support the success of BSU’s male students of color. He also mentions that, “The issue is traditionally, at BSU – like many campuses nationally – men of color are not graduating at the rates of white men or women of any race.”
Together, students and faculty alike will join together to discuss ways of changing the statistics and making what is now a national issue into a memory of the past.
Register for this event by Mar. 6, check your Student Announcements and search for the announcement posted by Donna Wood. If you are interested in joining the MIB, contact Ezhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawn Potter is the Opinion Editor of The Comment. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @shawn_potter.