Historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta announced the formation of the Black Men’s Research Institute (BMRI), a pioneering initiative to study the economic, social, cultural, and personal outcomes of issues affecting Black men, particularly where disparities exist in the U.S. and internationally.
Funded through a four-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the BMRI is designed to facilitate learning and community engagement as well as research. The institute, in partnership with Morehouse’s Africana studies and history department, will serve as a launchpad for the exploration of the first Black masculinities studies minor at a historically Black college or university, along with an online certificate program. The institute also plans to launch an annual symposium, through which a single topic will be explored in-depth, a public lecture series, and acknowledge public and community projects that foster nuanced understanding of policies affecting Black men and their communities.
Kendrick Brown, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Morehouse College, said that “the institute will be a positive force for promoting richer, more nuanced understandings of how Black men affect and are influenced by 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 myriad socio-political, economic, and cultural contexts,” added Clarissa Myrick-Harris, chair of the division of humanities and professor of Africana studies at the college. “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.”