ATLANTA (Feb. 17, 2014) – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) officials announced today the kick-off of a black male initiative to support enrollment and retention, with a keynote address by renowned educator Baruti Kafele, Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Bishop Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center, 223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W., Atlanta 30314.
Launched on the heels of President Obama’s recent announcement of a nationwide initiative for African-American males, M.I.R.R.O.R. -- Male Initiative of Recruitment, Reward, and Overall Retention – has been in development for months at CAU. The program is designed to enhance the number of African-American males who attend and graduate from college. M.I.R.R.O.R. is multi-facetedand will focus on leadership, mentoring, recruitment and retention through a holistic (mental, emotional and spiritual) approach in engaging black males.
CAU Vice President for Student Affairs Carl E. Jones said, “It is not a secret that black males are graduating from college at a much lower rate than white males or black females. This is true for all colleges and universities. At many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and CAU is no exception, the female to male student population is roughly 3 to 1, which can present challenges to maintaining a healthy academic and social environment.”
Jones explained that factors such as a lack of college preparation, lack of focus, family problems and financial challenges all have a negative impact on male enrollment. “Black men need college degrees now more than ever,” said Jones. “Our society needs them to be successful tohave the earning power to serve as head of households, strengthening black families, the black community and thus our nation.”
One important component of M.I.R.R.O.R. will be CAU’s “Man of the Year” program, an annual competition and pageant that showcases some of the university’s top male scholars and role models. The students receive scholarship awards and gifts from such organizations as the United Negro College Fund and the United Methodist Church.
Baruti Kafele is an award-winning educator, internationally renowned speaker, educational consultant and best-selling author. As a middle and high school principal in New Jersey, he led the transformation of four different schools and was selected six times to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” Kafele holds a bachelor’s degree in management science/marketing from Kean University and a master’s degree in educational administration from New Jersey City University. Among other works, he is the author of the best-selling book, “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life.”