For over a century, Morehouse College has served as an epicenter for groundbreaking research surrounding inequities that impact marginalized communities. The Atlanta-based institution is staying true to that tradition by creating a new project. The HBCU announced the launch of its Black Men’s Research Institute.
Through the initiative, scholars will examine how the existence of global social and economic disparities shape the lives of Black men. The institute—which sits at the intersection of social sciences, creative arts and humanities—will explore the different dimensions of Black male identities through an intersectional lens, illustrating that men’s experiences within the Black community aren’t monolithic.
The initiative also hopes to dispel preconceived notions about Black manhood, foster global conversations and generate research to inform public policies and civic engagement projects to create better life outcomes for Black men. Through the institute, scholars will engage in a myriad of learning experiences—including symposiums, workshops and lectures—focused on thought leadership, intellectual discovery, knowledge exchange and innovation.
BMRI, which has been funded through a four-year endowment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be a starting point for the first Black masculinities studies minor at an HBCU and a digital certificate program. The institute will work in concert with the college’s Africana studies and history department. Under the umbrella of BMRI, Morehouse plans to cultivate a scholarship focused on Black men and their communities.
“The BMRI will fill a void in research, scholarship, curriculum and public engagement to reveal a holistic understanding of the experiences of men and boys of African descent in the United States, Africa, and the African Diaspora—from their expressions of gender and identity to the overt and subtle ways that systemic racism and inequalities affect them in a myriad socio-political, economic, and cultural contexts,” Clarissa Myrick-Harris, Ph.D., chair of the division of humanities and professor of Africana studies, said in a statement. “Just as important, the institute will explore and share ways that Black men and boys have—and continue to—overcome barriers and find ways to empower themselves, their families, and communities.”
Leaders at Morehouse hope the curricula developed by BMRI will be adapted by other institutions. News about the Black Men’s Research Institute comes months after Tuskegee University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham received a $13.7 million grant to further research around racial health disparities.