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Alcorn President releases two books on black males, campus initiative to follow
Alcorn State, Miss. (December 7, 2012) – Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II has released two books, “Educating African American Males: Contexts for Consideration, Possibilities for Practice” and “African American Males and Education: Researching the Convergence of Race and Identity”.
Both books explore with extraordinary candor and clarity, the relationship between educational experiences and academic outcomes of African American males. Brown’s colleague, T. Elon Dancy II, professor of higher education at the University of Oklahoma, collaborated on both books.
“Paying attention to the pipeline and recognizing the correlation of K-12 and higher education to the training and achievements of African American males is complex,” according to Dancy. These two book projects allowed him the opportunity to engage in solid scholarship and research with his chief mentor. “Dr. Brown is prolific scholar and nationally known for his research on education policy and governance. Although, the work was focused on student outcomes, both books represent the best of our shared research expertise,” said Dancy.
“My co-authors and I believe the books will challenge the education community to think more critically about black males,” says President Brown as he reflects on the scope and focus of the books. “We are hopeful that these works can inspire more students to become leaders in their field of scholarship.”
President Brown is also seeking funding for Alcorn’s new male initiative, the I AM Project, designed to enhance retention and academic achievement with the purpose of highlighting positive peer pressure and engagement of students in a dynamic range of enriching activities.
Brown knows the value of improving academic experiences and outcomes among all male students at Alcorn, “By establishing a supportive and dynamic culture that promotes academic excellence, personal and social development, civic engagement, and professional preparation, students will thrive. Ultimately, the intention is for participants to own the project and its positive image as an institutional brand, captured by the slogan I AM… an Alcorn Man.”
Currently, Alcorn students are leading the way and know the privilege of working with surrounding schools to address the academic underperformance of male students through the Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion under the direction of Dr. Derek Greenfield who will also lead the I AM Project.
“This project is an “at success” and not “at risk” male empowerment initiative,” Greenfield explains. “Alcorn plans to launch a program that will set a new standard by providing support, guidance, and comprehensive and holistic experiences to insure that Alcorn men have the greatest possibility of achieving success.”
“My president inspires me to be excellent and give my best in all efforts,” says sophomore Arlen Sims from Chicago, majoring in pre-law. “I am honored to have been selected to participate in the I AM Project. I understand that iron sharpens iron. And know the privilege and success of attaining a college degree.”
Lee Johnson, a sophomore political science major from Detroit, agreed and added, “I look forward to reading both books and being a member of the I AM Project. Working with mentors who are experts will be inspirational and educational, motivating us to be wise and excellent while motivating ourselves and others to be representatives of greatest.”
About “Educating African American Males: Contexts for Consideration, Possibilities for Practice”
“Educating African American Males: Contexts for Consideration, Possibilities for Practice” continues, extends, and advances the research and conversations introduced in the book’s predecessor, “Black Sons to Mothers: Compliments, Critiques, and Challenges for Cultural Workers in Education” (Peter Lang, 2000). The chapters in this volume were commissioned by the Alphas in the Academy Committee (AAC) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. The AAC addresses issues incident to collegiate life, employment in higher education, and postsecondary performance among African American males. This book reflects the fraternity’s unshakable commitment to improving the contexts and outcomes of African American males in educational settings, and identifies important new territory for the next decade of scholarship on this critical topic.
About African American Males and Education: Researching the Convergence of Race and Identity
“African American Males in Education: Researching the Convergence of Race and Identity” addresses a number of research gaps. This book emerges at a time when new social dynamics of race and other identities are shaping, but also shaped by, education. Educational settings consistently perpetuate racial and other forms of privilege among students, personnel, and other participants in education. For instance, differential access to social networks still visibly cluster by race, continuing the work of systemic privilege by promoting outcome inequalities in education and society.
The issues defining the relationship between African American males and education remain complex. Although there has been substantial discussion about the plight of African American male participants and personnel in education, only modest attempts have been made to center analysis of identity and identity intersections in the discourse. Additionally, more attention to African American male teachers and faculty is needed in light of their unique cultural experiences in educational settings and expectations to mentor and/or socialize other African Americans, particularly males.
Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally-competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships which benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation and world.