Black males only constitute less than 3-percent of the population at the University of Georgia. What does that mean?
Well, imagine this. You walk into MLC 101 for a 300-person lecture class. As you scan the room, something (or someone) is missing. Another person who looks like you.
Many black males can attest to being the only black male in a class whether it be a breakout session of 15 or a lecture hall of 300. This is a torch every black male carries at UGA, willingly or otherwise.
The Black Male Leadership Society (BMLS) aims to alleviate the stress and anxiety through brotherhood and bonding with other like-minded individuals on campus.
“We aim to foster a sense of community and growth with black makes here on campus, the entire UGA community, and Athens-Clarke County,” said president Charles King. “We want to ensure we are providing resources and networking for everyone on campus.”
BMLS was established in the fall 2007 by UGA alum Kerry Richardson. He sought to create an organization to inspire and develop the black male on the campus of UGA.
Six years later, a group of inspired UGA students sought to bring back BMLS. In the past year, the organization has shined.
BMLS has posted an impressive resume in its first year back. In September 2013, they held a “Past, Present, and Future Banquet”. The banquet brought back UGA alums from various career fields to meet with current BMLS members in what proved to be a beneficial networking experience for all involved.
BMLS has partnered with multiple Multicultural Services and Programs (MSP) organizations and other student orgs in the past year on multiple occasions for events such as “His Reality: The Black Male Experience” and “They Mattered. We Matter Candlelight Vigil.”
“BMLS’ goal is to give black males the qualities, skills, and drive to become outstanding members of society through brotherhood,” said social chair Mahamed Mousse. “With all the unfortunate circumstances concerning black males in America today, we need leaders to step up.”
The Black Male Leadership Society’s biggest accomplishment was the success of their Georgia African American Male Experience (GAAME) Weekend through the Office of Institutional Diversity. In April, nearly 50 high school senior black males visited campus to get a feel for UGA.
BMLS treated these interested students to an informative, yet entertaining weekend. They hosted workshops dealing with intended majors, networking, on-campus leadership, and professional attire.
Of the 49 students that attended, 33 are enrolled here in Athens this fall. BMLS looks to continue to recruit black males to the University of Georgia, but they also look to expand their impact.
“BMLS is branching out this year,” said King. “We are doing things a lot differently this year. BMLS is not only going to serve the African American community, but we also will inspire African Americans to serve the community.”
You can keep up to date with all things BMLS online:
You can apply to the Black Male Leadership Society here: http://msp.uga.edu/stuorgs/bmls_application.php