The Men's Achievement Center (MAC), part of the North Carolina Central University Division of Student Affairs, earned one of three Men of Courage Game Changers awards given by the Ford Fund in 2021.
The award comes with a $5,000 grant to support Black male development at NCCU.
“MAC is committed to enriching the quality of our students' collegiate experience and ensuring their success at NC Central and beyond,” said Angela Coleman, Ph.D., vice chancellor of the Division of Student Affairs. “This generous grant will provide substantial support for MAC initiatives designed to assist program participants in successfully completing their undergraduate course of study and preparing them to be global leaders upon graduation.”
The award recognizes organizations that help Black men make a positive impact in their communities through education, business and/or social equity. The three winners were selected from a pool of more than 60 applications for the Men of Courage award, a national program by Ford Fund designed to advance the narrative of African American men through storytelling and community programs.
"This award allows me to extend the social, emotional, and professional development opportunities that the Men’s Achievement Center already offers to our male students,” stated Roderick Heath, Ph.D., director of MAC. “We will use the funds to improve the engagement within the surrounding communities and Durham Public Schools through mentoring."
This year's awards were presented virtually by Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and Ford Men of Courage program advocate Jerome Bettis in partnership with The Bus Stops Here Foundation.
View the awards presentation video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yUWV8ALDq8.
Since its inception in 2009, more than 600 African American men have graduated from NC Central under the guidance of the Male Achievement Center. The center emphasizes the principles of scholarship, brotherhood, global awareness, spiritual and cultural enlightenment, and mentorship.
MAC also established in 2009 the African American Male Initiative (AAMI), the university’s flagship four-year program for cultivating academic achievement within the Black male student body through developmental mentorships and other support services.
"My goal is for the AAMI program, staff, and our participants to lead the country in the development of African American males,” Heath said. “Over the last three years, I have pushed our young men to break all barriers, escape stereotypes, and strive to be great at whatever they do. Our numbers show that when African American males are provided leadership and structure, they will succeed in and out the classroom."
As the demographic of the male student body of NCCU continues to evolve, so have the offerings of the Men's Achievement Center, with new programs that include the MAC Brothers, MAC Alumni Sponsors, and the Creating a Pathway for Latino Males to Attend College program.
For more information on the Men's Achievement Centers and its programs, visit www.nccu.edu/mac.