African American Male Research Initiative (AAMRI)
To address the severe academic achievement gap that exists between African American males and other demographic groups within education, the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence has launched an African American Male Research Initiative (AAMRI). AAMRI is an academic focused research initiative that works directly with young men through current DDCE programs and partnerships with local organizations in the greater Austin metropolitan area and Central Texas. The goals of the program are to develop and promote a culture amongst young men that takes pride in academic excellence and aids in decreasing dropout rates at all educational settings, build stronger academic identity amongst young men, and add additional scholarly research on the African American male educational experience.
While the focus of the African American Male Research Initiative will be on young African American males, young men of all races and ethnicities will be invited to participate in the program. The participants will primarily be from the Central Texas region and range from ages 12 – 23 to capture boys typically in middle school high school, and post-secondary education or employment.
Program Services and Accomplishments
The African American Male Research Initiative offered a number of services for individuals and organizations of young men who have the desire to improve their educational experience. The initiative has also identified some new opportunities and partnerships for the upcoming academic year. Below are a few highlights and some future programs and services.
- Partnerships with National and Local Organizations: The African American Male Research Initiative is constantly developing partnerships with organizations doing similar work at the local, regional, and national level. AAMRI has developed a close relationship with the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University. AAMRI has also established partnerships with the following groups: Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Gamma Gamma Boule of Austin), the 100 African American Men of Central Texas, the Harvest Foundation, the University of Texas Chapter of the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), and the men of the W.E. B. DuBois Honors Program at Huston-Tillotson University.
- Professional Development for Undergraduates: The African American Male Research Initiative offered a monthly professional development series featuring members of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity – Gamma Gamma Boule of Austin, TX for young men from The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) and Huston-Tillotson University (HTU). DDCE invited young men from the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) at UT-Austin and the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars group at HTU, and other individuals to participate in this monthly event. The events featured moderated panel discussions and networking sessions between the highly successful and experienced professionals of the fraternity and the college men. These events regularly drew 20-25 college-aged participants and 20-25 professional men.
- Program and Event Funding: The African American Male Research Initiative funded a number of programs and events organized by and for African American males. Events included the 2012 Heman Sweatt Symposium’s Dialogue and Panel on the African American Male Experience, the 2012 Annual African American Male Academic Bowl, the 2012 Annual SAAB African American Male Breakfast, and the Iota Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi’s African American Male Graduation Forum.
- Services for Student-Athletes: Recognizing the unique experiences of African American male student-athletes, the initiative has developed specific programming and support for these young men on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. In partnership with the football program, the initiative created a summer program for incoming freshmen offering 3-6 hours of course credit and workshops to aid in their transition and development. In the fall semester, these individuals are also enrolled in a signature course with other students from the Gateway Scholars Program taught by Dr. Leonard Moore. During the spring semester, periodic workshops are also provided to student-athletes on an ad-hoc basis.
If you are interested in participating in AAMRI please fill out the member information sheet below.