The Black Male Initiative assists in retaining collegiate black males in achieving their academic, social and personal goals on their journey to graduating with their chosen academic degree. The goal of BMI is retention and ultimately graduation.
Black Male Initiative focuses heavily on encouraging academic success. We do this by highlighting and rewarding student achievement via our semesterly 3.0 club ceremony, we assist students in maintaining dialogue with professors throughout the semester for progress report updates and provide resources for academic success, such as study tables, peer collaboration and helping students find where to go when in need.
Every semester BMI engages in Parking Services for NIU football games throughout the season as well as for the major events for the Convocational Center. Beyond that, we actively search for and take part in initiatives and opportunities through the Dekalb and the surrounding Chicagoland area to serve the community, including going back to high schools and engaging with students to provide information about higher education.
Black Male Initiative is known for its active presence on NIU's campus. BMI hosts two annual events, including a "Showtime at the Apollo" talent show in the spring and a tier elimination basketball tournament every fall. We also engage in collaborative events with other organizations as well as other minor academic and social events.
With declining retention rates for African American students on college campuses, BMI believes that the engagement with like-minded, focused students who have previously experienced the terrain in higher education can play a key role in the motivation, and in turn the retention of black males at NIU.
Black Male Initiative sees personal and leadership development as extremely important to the success of black males on a college campus. We use image busting as an effort in defeating some of the negative stereotypes associated with black males by forcing the campus to acknowledge and engage with black male students in professional settings and in professional attire.