More black men enroll in college

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ATLANTA --- Thousands more young black men in Georgia are in college today because of an initiative aimed at growing their ranks in the state's colleges and universities.

Organizers of an initiative started five years ago by the University System of Georgia are touting increased black male enrollment as a result of its multipronged approach to boosting the numbers of black men attending the state's colleges and universities.

The system's African American Male Initiative reports that 21,249 students were enrolled in fall 2007, compared to 17,068 in fall 2002, an increase of 24.5 percent.

The group will present the findings and best practices this weekend in a two-day symposium at Kennesaw State University.

The initiative takes several approaches, including tutoring, mentoring, leadership development and college visitation.

Project director Arlethia Perry-Johnson said the issue is not limited to Georgia and has economic and social implications. She pointed out that black men are on the lower rung of high school graduates.

"You have a huge sector of our American population that is going uneducated," Ms. Perry-Johnson said. "When you start talking about mass numbers of your society not being educated, that then has implications for their economic viability."

The symposium will highlight five years of research and pilot programs and will feature local and national leaders on the issue. Among the speakers at the forum are Thomas Dortch Jr., the president emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, and author and activist Kevin Powell, the organizer of the State of Black Men Tour.

Research done as part of the initiative revealed several influences that can affect black men's choice to attend college, including whether their parents went, their socioeconomic environment, pressure from peers and their academic experiences in middle and high school -- especially whether they were encouraged or discouraged to pursue higher learning by their teachers and guidance counselors.

Researchers also found that issues such as a need to support their families, enlisting in the military and the thought of delayed gratification -- being broke for four years in a college setting while their peers make money by other means -- are challenges for black men.

When the initiative began in 2002, only three programs statewide addressed the issue of college enrollment by black men. Now, Ms. Perry-Johnson said, there are 20 programs at 16 University System of Georgia institutions. The state has invested more than $420,000 in the program.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 12/01/07 - 07:30 am
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Over the years the government

Over the years the government has tried some terrible things to encourage unqualified black men to enroll in college courses, only to see them leave as frustrated failures. The approach of this program is exactly the way to break the cycle of poverty and failure and to encourage the next generation to succeed as a naturally chosen way of life. 100 Black Men has been a leading program for sending the right message for over 2 decades. Everyone in the state should thank the organizers of this initiative. This is the type of program needed to overcome the damage done by the government subsidy programs. Lets hope when the political winds swing back to the left this program isn't destroyed by the vote buyers.

RichmondCountyResident1
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/01/07 - 01:49 pm
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Pat, while your attempt at a

Pat, while your attempt at a complement is welcome,but parts of your analogy is false.It is high time the state make way for blacks, particularly black males to attend universities that denied us access, while taking our tax dollars to support itself.Blacks were not even allowed to attend major universities in Ga. until the mid sixties.Then they were frustrated by a racist culture.Government subsidies aren't only damage we suffered as a people.Racism, then and now are major culprits. Some of the fault lies with us also,for allowing ourselves to have such low aim.This program is good, but not enough. We can educate now or pay for large prison budgets later.

NicoleKelly
7
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NicoleKelly 12/01/07 - 04:19 pm
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Thanks for the intelligent

Thanks for the intelligent way of putting things @ Richmond County Resident

iletuknow
7
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iletuknow 12/01/07 - 04:28 pm
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Why not,it's easy to pass

Why not,it's easy to pass (just show up) it's free and some get paid to go. Socialism at it's best!

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 12/01/07 - 04:43 pm
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I highly encourage education

I highly encourage education to everyone and anyone willing to do it! Just because you are in the military doesn't mean you cannot go to college, it just means you have to take distant learning courses, but not everyone can learn best this way. This will definitely be an improvement.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 12/01/07 - 09:32 pm
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RCR, you represent the

RCR, you represent the ugliest kind of racist. You write like you can't make it unless the white man gives you permission or a special leg up or special consideration. Your attempt to be racist is successful, but you're the one taking the hurt. Your own accomplishments are much better then any 'gifts' from the white man. 100 Black Men is a group of successful men that promote education and effort and confidence. All are earned, none are any good if they're gifts. Quit buying into the "racist unless it has a gift attached to it" mentality. That's one of the biggest stumbling blocks there is. And by the way, you pompous [filtered word], the compliment wasn't for you to accept or deny. It was for the program that promoted the lifestyle of Americans. Something I'm sure you'll never be involved with.

owensjef
13
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owensjef 12/01/07 - 09:46 pm
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oh boy!

oh boy!

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/01/07 - 11:53 pm
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Pat, I wouldn't call anyone

Pat, I wouldn't call anyone racist if I were you.I guess the truth hurts, good.We don't need the likes of you, always trying to tell blacks how to live. I'm sure a lot of us are doing at least as well as you.The only blacks you support are the ones who say what you want to here.You're a sad one sided, rightwing zealot.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 12/04/07 - 01:32 pm
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i agree with rcr, READ

i agree with rcr, READ HISTORY, not black history, but basic american history...it indicates that blacks were prohibited from getting an education for the most part, up until the early 60's during jim crow why is it that the ones who went to the white univeristies, and colleges and subjuecting themselves to constatnt ostricizing, mental and phyiscal abuse BUT STILL graduate at or near the top of the entire graduating class. why do you ask, is because we have told as people we need to look to the likes of rappers, thugs and criminal types who are glorified in the media as the people in the know or has the "pulse" of the neighborhoods. that glorifies violence, demeaning of our women and redicule those who want and can compete on the college level. this is the net result, a lost generation or two of black men who don't want anything and it is everybody's excuse but there own why they are in jail. or no excuse why they make babies and are too SORRY to take care of them

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