By: Christopher Rico
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Not only can students expand their horizons academically but also socially— here at PCCC with clubs, organizations, and groups.
The Men of Color Success Initiative is a group of male students and faculty who gather every other Thursday from 1:00 to 2:30 in the Hamilton Club to discuss a variety of topics regarding healthy masculinity and what it means to be a “man.” I encourage all male students to join!
When Professor James Sanders gave a preview of the initiative at a Student Support Services club meeting, my interest was immediately peaked, but I hesitated.
After that, I was once again told of the initiative by Simaza Ishak, the director of the Center for Violence Prevention director. She then introduced me to Bill Morrison, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the man who proposed the idea of this group.
One of my mottos in life is, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When I realized I’d have the contact of a dean, I couldn’t say no.
Meetings began February 1st, 2018 and the initiative has been busy since its start. In the summer, there are monthly so that members can stay in touch and have discussions.
In the Fall 2018 semester, Dean Morrison off ered an MCSI ambassador position to Andrew Fair, NaQuan McDowell, Marvin España, and myself.
I am very grateful for Dean Bill Morrison, Professor James Sanders, and Enrique Noguera for encouraging me to stay and pushing me to succeed and thrive in my role. Becoming an ambassador has changed me for the better.
In the past, I could have never envisioned myself doing what I do now. I’ve picked up items for donation drives, gotten sponsors for events, assisted at and donated to bake sales, and written for a newspaper.
So, why is it called “The Men of Color Success Initiative?” PCCC works with a similarly-motivated organization known as “Achieving the Dream.” Dean Morrison was presented with some data that deemed a group for men of color was very important.
Another reason is that “The Men of Color Success Initiative” is a very common name for similar groups across community colleges here in the U.S. We decided “Why not continue the legacy?”
The biggest reason for the Initiative’s name is that it has been shown that African American and Hispanic men have the lowest graduation rate for community colleges. We want to change that.
In the words of Professor James Sanders: “YOUR VOICE MATTERS!” Always remember that.