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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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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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