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MSU Mankato group to offer support, unity to its members
A new student group on campus, B.I.G., strives to break down stereotypes while encouraging self-improvement and professionalism.
Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press, March 5, 2012
Addressing a room full of young black men, Henry Morris made clear the importance of their gathering.
“As you know, there are more black men in prison than in college,” said Morris, interim dean of Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State University. “And we want to change that around.”
For this and numerous other reasons, Morris approached Matnique Williamson, a senior majoring in corrections, with the idea for a group that would break down stereotypes between cultures, encourage black men to strive for self-improvement and professionalism, and, above all, keep them at MSU.
“There are issues with black males in higher education across the nation; it’s nothing unique to MSU,” Morris said. “ So we just want to be proactive in how we can help students of color, in general, and men, in particular, to be successful.”
Williamson was quick to take up Morris’ idea, founding and presiding over the new MSU group Black Intelligent Gentlemen (B.I.G).
Williamson agreed with Morris’ desire for more “ black togetherness” on campus. He said from social groups to graduation rates, African American men are not thriving like they could be.
“It’s a huge range of things we’re trying to accomplish,” he said.
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