Education systems are faced with dismal statistics in regards to Black Males. In 2012, the Chronicle of Higher Education addressed an alarming issue within their Almanac of Higher Education 2012 publication, which identified that "out of Bachelor's (164,844), Master's (76,458), and doctoral degrees (10,417) awarded to Blacks, Black males respectively earned 34.1%, 28.9%, and 34.8 respectively".
At the University of Wisconsin Green Bay we are faced with similar statistics regarding the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Black men and want to work towards a solution that has future implications for college access. Therefore, the P.H.O.E.N.I.X (Preeminent, Holistic, Opportunity for Engaging New Ideas in Excellence) © initiative, is an original campus program designed and developed by Mr. Shawn Robinson, Multicultural Advisor (Ph.D. student), & Dr. James Coates, Associate Professor of Education in 2012 as the result of institutional data and the achievement gap that exists among Black men in Higher Education.
The P.H.O.E.N.I.X Initiative is designed for Black College men to meet weekly for each semester of their first year to discuss issues of, but not limited to: race and class, privilege, masculinity, manhood, sexuality, scholarship, literacy, finance management, leadership, cultural assimilation and navigation, women, relationships, spirituality, and other existing issues that influence Black Men in society and within the academic institutions.
Through critical dialogue, lectures, film, brownbag discussions, readings of academic articles and books, questioning media and music messages, and campus involvement the P.H.O.E.N.I.X Initiative members will explore the effects of the media stigma and influence on Black men. It is our intentions to critically analyze the stereotypes associated with Black men in effort of understanding those hidden messages and become strong, intelligent and conscientious Black men in society in effort to make CHANGE. This initiative is grounded in empirical research, socio-cultural and theoretical perspectives regarding the academic and social development of Black males in Higher Education from research conducted through The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education unites University of Pennsylvania.
The program is coordinated and advised by Dr. Coates and Mr. Robinson. All interested incoming freshmen can participate in the leadership development, mentoring and support offered by the program. Weekly meetings and activities are offered to keep the participants engaged to aid in their college transition to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
If you are an incoming freshman and interested in participating in the P.H.O.E.N.I.X Initiative program please complete the freshmen interest form.