The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Male Success Initiative Provides a Safe Space to Be Unapologetically Yourself

yates
yates

The Male Success Initiative (MSI) at Stanislaus State helps foster student growth and academic perseverance by nurturing spaces where men of color and self-identified men feel safe to be purposefully vulnerable, live in their authentic truths, and be empowered to be agents of social change.
The Initiative launched in the Fall of 2020 after conversations campus-wide revolved around the data on the large gender equity gap.
As of Fall 2022, at Stan State, 68% of students are female and 32% are male. MSI is working towards closing that gap.
Carolina Alfaro, the Director of the Warrior Cross Cultural Center, says that the initiative is still in its infancy stage.
“The launch of it, it’s still kind of in its early stages and it’s still kind of in the developing phase of it so we focus on four main areas,” she said.
Those four main areas are known as the pillars of success. They include mentoring, achievement, leadership development, and empowerment.
Alvaro Cabrera (Communications, Junior) was looking for a place he could call home on campus. When a job opportunity in MSI presented itself to him, Cabrera quickly realized he had a passion for what MSI does.
Cabrera says if students can take anything away from MSI, it would be that it’s more than just the meetings.
“It’s dismantling toxic masculinity and creating a safer, more inclusive space for men on campus. To be men and have a free space to express themselves as they want,” he said.
The Male Success Initiative’s goal is to engage participants by organizing a series of programs and services that are dedicated to addressing system inequities, academic achievement gaps, and persistence to graduation.
Brother-to-Brother is one of those programs put on by MSI and Black Men’s Alliance on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom.
Brother-to-Brother is a healing support group dedicated to supporting Black Men on campus and alumni.
Paul Wright, a Social Work Professor and the Brother-to-Brother event leader, explained that the group discusses topics like feelings of isolation and racial micro-aggressions.
The Brother-to-Brother meetings are run with no minute-by-minute agenda, but rather, with an open discussion format.
“It’s organic and we’re talking about real issues. I’m not there advising anyone, I’m there engaging in an authentic process,” Wright said.
Marvin Williams, the Director of Disability Services and Advisor for Black Student Union, adds to its importance.
“There’s a hunger for it. Students want it and that’s important. I think it fills that need. So with the way Western culture typically is there’s not a whole lot of room for men to be vulnerable. For men to be able to share,” he said.
Williams explains that it’s not a very safe world to live in when we can’t express emotions in a healthy and safe way.
“So when we say vulnerable, what I mean is embracing the full range of emotions that we got and doing so unapologetically. And it doesn’t make you any less of a man,” he said, “What it does is it points out your humanity.”
For more information about the Male Success Initiative and upcoming events put on by the organization, follow their Instagram or check out their website.

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Male Success Initiative Provides a Safe Space to Be Unapologetically Yourself