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New Pittsburgh Police Chief to Speak to Black Male Leadership Development Institute

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Black Male Leadership Development Institute (BMLDI) will host its annual Leadership Luncheon at noon Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh.

The theme of the event is “Bridging the Gap: Courageous Conversations About Justice and Healing Between Black Males and Law Enforcement in Our Communities” and features a keynote address by Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay. Members of the media who wish to attend this invitation-only event should contact Jonathan Potts at 412-397-5291 or potts@rmu.edu.

The BMLDI is run jointly by Robert Morris University and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, and is a yearlong program that provides leadership training to black teenage boys. The BMLDI kicks off each year in June when the young men live on RMU’s Moon Township campus for an intensive week of seminars and workshops, then continues for the next 12 months with the weekly BMLDI Saturday Institute. The BMLDI is entirely free for selected participants.

RMU’s participation in the BMLDI was spearheaded by the late Rex Crawley, a professor of communication at Robert Morris who died Nov. 25, 2013, from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The current BMLDI class of 76 young men is the first to enter the program since Crawley’s death, and the continued success of the program is an enduring tribute to Crawley’s legacy, said Michael Quigley, the new BMLDI program director at Robert Morris.

“The program is running strong. We are identifying areas for growth and enhancing our strengths to continue to increase the life chances of the young men we serve and become the trusted and preferred model for adolescent black male leadership development nationally,” said Quigley, who is an assistant professor of organizational leadership at RMU.

The BMLDI collected two significant awards in the fall: The Racial Justice Award from the YWCA Race and Gender Equity Committee of Greater Pittsburgh and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Iota Chapter Service Award for a Leadership Development. The Heinz Endowments boosted its support of the BMLDI in 2014, and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation is also a new funder of the program. The BMLDI has added programming for its alumni, and is planning an online component for 2015 to increase contact hours and better utilize technology with the young men.