YPSILANTI – The Manhood Project, a youth-development program that seeks to link young men in southeastern Michigan with positive influences and experiences to empower them to achieve and discover their true potential, is visiting the Eastern Michigan University campus on Saturday, April 13.
Phil Black, a former student-athlete who attended Eastern for two years before transferring to Wayne State University, is founder and CEO of the Manhood Project.
Black says the visit to Eastern’s campus will help shape the young men’s world view.
“What better way to do that than to expose them to the real-life experience of being a college student?” Black says. “With Eastern’s help, we are going to make it unforgettable.”
The visit, the fifth annual College Experience for the project, will include a welcome at the EMU Student Center, a campus tour, a mentor mingle and lunch with Eastern faculty and staff, activities at the Rec/IM Building and a visit to Eastern Michigan’s annual spring football game before the group departs at 5:15 p.m.
Schools visiting Eastern include Triumph Middle School in Harper Woods, Harper Woods High, George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park, Brewer Academy of Detroit and past participants from various schools.
The Manhood Project has provided social and emotional development, personal coaching, and mentoring services to young Detroit area men since 2012. Its stated mission is to maximize the positive qualities of underserved youth while minimizing their temptations to engage in risk behavior as they discover themselves. The project annually provides service to about 200 boys in and around Detroit.
The project’s motto is, “Manhood is about being present, not perfect.”
“The College Experience field trip is one of our exposure strategies designed to expand the world view of our young men and inspire them to reach beyond their daily lives,” Black says. “This event has become a turning point for many of those that participate.”
A video about the project notes that 70 to 80 percent of inner city youth in the United States have never visited a college campus, and that 55 percent are more likely to enroll in college if they have a mentor.
“My goal was to create something that could expand, to start a movement of giving back,” Black says. “(It’s) a movement of men being present. It’s a full scope of life that needs to be shared, and needs to be encapsulated.”
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.