History & Purpose
In May of 2004, the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York unanimously approved its Master Plan for 2004-2008. This comprehensive planning document included for the first time in the University's history a "Chancellor's Initiative on the Black Male in Education."
In the fall of 2004, Chancellor Goldstein established a University Task Force on the Black Male Initiative. He asked Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Selma Botman to identify faculty members and administrators with relevant knowledge and expertise to serve on the Task Force and charged it with developing recommendations that would include a series of action-oriented projects to help black males overcome the inequalities that lead to poor academic performance in the K-12 system, the attendant weak enrollment, retention, and graduation from institutions of higher education, and high rates of joblessness and incarceration.
During its six months of deliberations, the Task Force was presented with convincing evidence that black males in New York City and beyond face patterns of ongoing and distinctive discrimination in many aspects of their lives, most evidently in education, in treatment by the criminal justice system, and in employment. The discrimination they face has profound consequences for their well-being and security, and is manifested in unacceptably high rates of leaving school before high school graduation and imprisonment and in unacceptably low rates of postsecondary degree completion and stable participation in the work force. These grim realities have adverse impacts on family members and communities.
In its final report to the Chancellor, the Task Force proposed nine major recommendations, including:
1. Provide strong University leadership on the challenges facing black youth and men;
2. Strengthen the school-to-college pipeline to enable many more black male students to move into higher education;
3. Increase admission and graduation rates at CUNY colleges;
4. Improve teacher education to prepare professionals for urban education;
5. Improve employment prospects for black males;
6. Contribute to the reduction of the incarceration rate for black men;
7. Establish an Institute for the Achievement of Educational and Social Equity for Black Males;
8. Involve experts in the implementation of the recommendations; and
9. Establish benchmarks and hold Colleges accountable for implementing these recommendations.
After hearings before the Higher Education Committee of the New York City Council chaired by the Honorable Charles Barron, the University was awarded funding from the New York City Council and began to implement some of the aforementioned recommendations. Through the initial grant, fifteen (15) demonstration projects were funded designed to improve the enrollment and/or graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups, particularly black males. Funding was also allocated to increase opportunities for individuals without a high school diploma to enroll in GED courses oriented towards college preparation; to provide support for formerly incarcerated individuals to enroll in college; and to survey workforce development opportunities in New York City's construction industry. The second grant was used to support the continuation of most of the initial projects; to extend the initiative to all CUNY colleges and to the Graduate Center; to expand a research project begun at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to other CUNY colleges; and to implement a community health survey at the Hunter School of Social Work. Though targeted towards black males, these projects do not discriminate based on race or gender and will serve as models for improving educational outcomes of all students. All programs and activities of the Black Male Initiative are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin or other characteristic. Now, in its tenth year, the CUNY BMI program continues to grow and build on the successes of the past nine years.
Register today for the Tenth Annual CUNY BMI Conference!
“Increasing Black and Latino Student Engagement and Success in Higher Education”
Friday, October 16, 2015, 8:30AM – 7:00PM
Gerald W. Lynch Theatre
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W. 59th Street, NY, NY 10019
An opportunity program for CUNY undergraduates who aspire to earn doctorates.
Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship (KSTF)
To apply, please click here: www.kstf.org/apply
2015 Summer Pipeline Programs for CUNY BMI Undergraduates
CUNY BMI undergraduates are encouraged to apply to summer pipeline programs to prepare for competitive graduate and professional school admissions processes.
Click here for a list of programs >>
CUNY Opportunity Programs and Specialized Programs