Though State of the Black Male will provide the opportunity for black males to discuss challenges they face, Jeremy Jordan said the program serves as more than just a therapeutic session.
From 6 to 8 tonight in the West Study Lounge , common social and educational challenges will be discussed at the State of the Black Male program, organized by members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and the Penn State Multicultural Resource Center, division of Educational Equity.
Jordan, vice president of Kappa Alpha Psi, said this program, which is “unique in nature,” serves to help uplift black males by presenting solutions to issues they may have.
Attendees will randomly be assigned to one of five different group discussions, exploring topics such as academics, hip-hop media, relationships, self-improvement and identity.
During the group discussions, Jordan (junior-health policy and administration) hopes to get as much participation as possible through encouraging people to use Twitter to note something interesting they heard or to express how they feel.
“People can still be engaged, even if they have a hard time with public speaking, or even if they are outside of the exclusive setting by using Twitter,” he said.
Michael Wood, Penn State multicultural graduate assistant counselor , will facilitate the discussion on family and relationships. Wood said he ultimately hopes the program will foster more discussion once it is over.
“The program serves as an opportunity for growth within the Penn State community for men of color,” Wood said.
After an hour of “detailed” discussion, these groups will come together to summarize and highlight their strongest points in one large panel group discussion, Jordan said. Following the panel discussion, the program will “end on a positive note,” by providing attendees with different opportunities, such as scholarships, jobs and internships, he added.
Jordan said he doesn’t want the program to be just a therapeutic session, as he wants it to provide resources that promote additional support for men of color as well.
“I don’t want people to be heard, but then not get anything out of it,” Jordan said.
Asia Jackson said — although she can’t attend the event as a female — she believes the program will be a valuable experience for men of color, because they will have the opportunity to speak their mind truthfully.
“Without having other variables, such as women, men can have a real talk and speak as bluntly and as openly as they want” Jackson (freshman-psychology) said.