African American Male Initiative


Through the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, UA has implemented "Rising to the Occasion," a comprehensive educational recruitment and retention model to increase the number of African American males enrolling and successfully graduating from The University of Akron.

Students participating in Rising to the Occasion will be actively engaged by the campus community and become acclimated to the academic rigors of college.

UA seeks to actively engage members of the community, including K-12 educators, prospective students, parents, and the faith-based community.

Programs and Services

Rites of Passage

A program designed to assist in the emotional and academic development of students that focuses on self-esteem, identity development, leadership, resiliency, and professional development.

Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB)

A national organization with more than 250 chapters around the country established to increase the retention and graduation of African American males.

Male Excellence Network

A UA student-developed organization that strives to assist and promote the preparation of young African-American males as role models in the community and set a new standard for the urban male in today’s society.

African American Male Learning Community

The African American Male Learning Community (AAMLC) is comprised of groups of approximately 25 students who participate in structured learning experiences by taking two to four classes together, promoting the academic and social integration of students into the University. The AAMLC targets incoming first-year students who participate in a year-long experience focusing on leadership, responsibility, and academic achievement. Apply for the AAMLC.

Black Male Summit

UA’s Office of Inclusion & Equity/Chief Diversity Office annually hosts the Black Male Summit to educate and engage the higher education community, including faculty and administration, students, K-12 faculty and administration, nonprofit organizations, the faith-based community and parents.  At the 7th Annual Black Male Summit held in 2014, over 1,300 attendees participated from over 12 states.  The event also included high school students from both the Akron Public and Canton school districts.

The two-day event focuses on issues facing African American males, as well as national best practices. More about the Black Male Summit.