I am delighted to lead the Urban Male Leadership Program at Lehman College in strategic efforts to increase the number of Black and Latino males in higher education. And while I have seen progress, I am fully aware that it has not been enough. Barriers continue to rise making further progress for Black and Latino males even more difficult to attain. One of our noted advocates for education in the urban community, Malcolm X, stated, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
In the Fall of 2004, former Chancellor Goldstein established a new initiative intended to increase, encourage, and support the inclusion and educational success of underrepresented groups in higher education. The Division of Student Affairs at Lehman College recognized its responsibility and opportunity to take an active role in establishing and introducing this initiative as a platform to provide strong leadership on challenges facing underrepresented youth and men, and to strengthen the school-to-college pipeline enabling many more minority male students to move into higher education and increase admission and graduation rates at CUNY colleges.
In order to have change, we must come together for the betterment of all members on our campus, in our communities, and beyond. It is my hope that the Urban Male Leadership Program will continue to assist students in building their Passport to Success by providing valuable experiences to identify their leadership role on campus and in our community.
The Urban Male Leadership Program (UMLP)is designed to facilitate the successful transition of first-year and transfer students to Lehman College. The program also provides support to continuing students by strengthening academic skills, personal development, and character enrichment. We are committed to developing the whole student both inside and outside of the classroom. The primary program focus seeks to increase the retention and graduation rates of all students while fostering a meaningful college experience with specific emphasis on experiences of historically underrepresented Black and Latino males.