Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence
Little Rock Alumnae Chapter
EMBODI: Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence is the signature program of our 24th National President. Summit III, “Preparing Our Sons for Manhood,” was conceived as an “exploration of the role of the male in the many configurations of the family. “Stereotypes that shape the American images of minority males are so stark and extreme that even the most ordinary and exceptional minority males find they are forced to contend with fantasies and fears that others hold towards them (Pedro Noguera, 2008.) EMBODI is designed to refocus Delta’s efforts to collaborate with other organizations to address the plight of minority males.
The Problem: Minority Males are in Crisis
Both informal and empirical data suggests that Minority males are in crisis. From institutional biases to public policy to marginalization, minority males, for the most part, are being unsuccessful educationally (lack of success in school and high drop-out rates), socially (incarceration and risky behaviors) and emotionally (low self esteem and mental health issues.) According to Pedro Noguera “practices that result in the marginalization of minority boys in school mirror attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that rationalize the marginalization of minority men in society.”
While success for minority males in education and society exists, data consistently indicate that minority males constitute a segment of the population that is distinguished by hardships, disadvantages and vulnerability (Littles, Bauers and Gillmer, 2007.) The crisis for minority males must be addressed collaboratively through dialogue, and recommendation for change and action.
The Call to Service
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. must continue to be a leader and accept the challenge of providing awareness and information about the plight of the minority male. Every chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority throughout the world must launch a program/project addressing EMBODI. Deltas must take the lead in developing and implementing collaborative programs/projects.
As Delta structures its program it should not treat minority males as a victim, predator or an at risk person but as a commodity to be treasured encouraged and celebrated. Our program should have realistic appraisals for the male participant and for those who have interaction with him. Many minority males have had chronic disappointment in their lives and are wedged in an under achievement gap. A realistic self appraisal will help them to learn how to separate blame from personal responsibility.