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ONU introduces ‘Brother 2 Brother’ initiative

Ohio Northern University will introduce the “Brother 2 Brother” initiative to the campus with a kickoff event in the Dicke Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m.

Part of the national Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) program, the Ohio Northern University’s Brother 2 Brother initiative seeks to assist young men, especially young men of color, with retention and graduation within educational environments.

Tyrone Bledsoe, founder and current CEO-president of SAAB, is scheduled to speak at the event to introduce the new initiative. Before transitioning to his current position with SAAB, Bledsoe served as vice president for student life and special assistant to the president at the University of Toledo.

Bledsoe is a contributing author to the book “African American Men in College,” and his scholarly publications and contributions were further solidified through his appearances on several talk shows, during which he has discussed issues pertaining to African-American and Latino males.

LaShonda Gurley, ONU director of multicultural development said, “One out of every four African American men aged 20 to 29 is either in prison, on probation, or on parole.  More African American men of this age group are in prison than there are in college and the armed services combined. 

With this fact, African American men, as well as other men of color, remain underrepresented in higher education.  Brother 2 Brother seeks to engage these young men and connect them with campus and community resources in order to form a solid support system.  This strong support system will assist them is completing their education and going on to become productive community citizens; therefore, inspiring other young men to do the same.”

SAAB, founded in 1990, has grown to more than 200 chapters across college and university campuses as well as middle and high schools in more than 39 states in the United States. SAAB operates through student chapters across the nation where young men of color enjoy the privilege of social, cultural and spiritual enrichment. SAAB increases the number of African-American and Latino men who graduate from college by creating a positive peer community based on a spirit of caring.