Morehouse College launches institute for Black male research

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The illustrious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia — America’s only all-male HBCU — will launch a new venture at which its campus is certainly set up to excel: the Black Men’s Research Institute.

Per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the institute will “study the cultural, economic, personal and social outcomes of issues affecting Black men, particularly where disparities exist in the world.”

Atlanta’s illustrious Morehouse College, the only all-male HBCU in America, is preparing to launch the Black Men’s Research Institute. (Photo: Mike Stewart/AP)

“As a college dedicated to advancing knowledge of Black men’s lives, Morehouse is thankful for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s investment that enables us to establish the BMRI,” said Kendrick Brown, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Morehouse College, in a press release. “The institute will be a positive force for promoting richer, more nuanced understandings of how Black men affect and are influenced by their communities.”

According to The AJC report, the institute received an undisclosed amount of grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The next steps in the process is the hiring of an executive director and the establishment of an advisory council to further shape its goals.

“It is important to Black men, for Black men and for Black boys who need help, who need to be lifted up, who need to have some entity, some place that is focused not just on studying them, but on really helping to understand themselves and the experiences they have,” Clarissa Myrick-Harris, chair of the university’s humanities division, told The AJC.

In addition to research, the BMRI will partner with the Africana Studies and History department at Morehouse to develop new courses, as well as a curriculum for a minor and an online certificate program in Black masculinities studies.

One aspect of examination will be disparities among Black men in the areas of education, employment, income and life expectancy. Further, the institute will explore how Black men overcome racism and other obstacles.

Myrick-Harris maintained that “it’s extremely important to talk about the ways that African American men and boys have negotiated the landscape of racism and negotiated exclusion and … been able to thrive.”

The college’s press release contends the BMRI “will also equip Black men and allies to challenge and navigate through a society constructed in ways that may marginalize Black men’s contributions and humanity. In addition, the institute will serve as an incubator for faculty to create curricula and scholarship that can be adopted by other higher education institutions seeking to provide more inclusive and authentic education about Black masculinities.”

According to Myrick-Harris, “The BMRI will fill a void in research, scholarship, curriculum, and public engagement to reveal a holistic understanding of the experiences of men and boys of African descent in the United States, Africa and the African Diaspora — from their expressions of gender and identity to the overt and subtle ways that systemic racism and inequalities affect them in myriad socio-political, economic and cultural contexts.”

“Just as important,” she added, “the institute will explore and share ways that Black men and boys have–and continue to–overcome barriers and find ways to empower themselves, their families, and communities.”

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