Nationwide, African American men enroll in and graduate from colleges and universities – including RMU -- at a disproportionately low rate.
RMU partnered with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to expand the Black Male Leadership Development Institute (BMLDI), which was launched in 2007, from a one-day event to a yearlong program. The BMLDI year kicks off with a weeklong residential program in June at the RMU campus, where 65-70 students participate in seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and leadership exercises. The BMLDI Saturday Institute meets monthly during the academic year, featuring college admission readiness workshops, an SAT prep course, financial aid literacy, and field trips. The program wraps up in April with a formal ‘Rites of Passage’ ceremony to recognize the achievement of BMLDI students.
Since its inception, 603 students have completed the program. Seventy-nine percent of the BMLDI Class of 2017 have enrolled in a four-year institution, and three enrolled at RMU.
The Pittsburgh region is in the midst of an economic resurgence, but not all communities have shared in those gains. That is why RMU is committed to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, and the Black Male Leadership Development Institute aims to ensure that the next generation of African American men will share in, and contribute to, our city’s prosperity.