Stillman College gets grant supporting Black Male Initiative

Stillman College‘s Black Male Initiative is getting a $100,000 grant that will help support Black men pursuing higher education thanks to a grant from the Alabama Power Foundation.

The Black Male Initiative began two years ago at Stillman and focuses on the academic and life issues black men face both on and off campus. Their main goal empowering Black students so they can compete in industries including business, criminal justice, STEM fields and teacher education.  

Ronnie Williams Jr., who is the first Mr. Stillman, is also the face of the Black Male Initiative.  

“The Black Male Initiative has partnered with Stillman Heights, the alternative school behind Stillman College,” Williams said. “We have been going there every Monday and Wednesday to encourage the students and let them know that there is hope, this isn’t your last chance, and this isn’t your last step.”  

Williams said the Black Male Initiative started out with no funds, but this grant will ensure they can continue making a difference in students’ lives.

“My goal and role are to increase the overall retention graduation and academic success of the Black men on campus because Black men are leading the population when it comes to not graduating or dropping out and just not succeeding at all at Stillman College,” Williams said.

Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick said this grant will support the initiative in many ways.

“It will provide some financial support, some mentoring, some travel and some professional development, all of that to develop them to be that leader in their community when they graduate from Stillman College,” Warrick said.  

Alabama Power Foundation Western Division Vice President Mark Crews said it’s an honor to support Stillman College and other HBCUs across the state.  

“We always look for partners who’ve been impactful, and this is something we have been doing as far as education, but as we reach deeper in the community and look for things that might make a bigger difference,” Crews said. “We found a great partner in Stillman, and we feel that this is one of the things that’ll move the needle in getting folks to see themselves in a different place and then get there.”  

You can read more about the grant right here.

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