The Uzuri Think Tank, is housed in the Robert Morris University (RMU) School of Communication and Information Systems, is a research center that has a laser focus on Black male educational success. It takes its name from the Swahili word that means “brilliance”.
Uzuri was established in the fall 2012. The endowed center was made possible by funds from the Heinz Endowments. Such funds will secure the sustainability of the center over time. Uzuri is focused on success factors, while the scope of the center is purposefully wide. This leaves room for issues and research topics to emerge.
Consistent with RMU's mission, initiatives emphasizing black male achievement expand upon RMU's existing commitment to multiculturalism and diversity and contribute to RMU's reputation for identifying talented students with great potential and allowing that potential blossom.
The Uzuri’s infrastructure allows for the engagement of the following functions: (1) a space of debate—a sounding board for new thoughts, initiatives, and policies’; (2) independent research—work done with core or flexible funding that allows the researchers the liberty to choose their research questions and method; (3) consultancy—work done by commission with specific clients and addressing one or two major questions; and (4) influencing/advocacy—based on research based evidence emerging from independent research or consultancies.
By conducting primary and secondary research to build upon the body of knowledge around black male educational success, the Uzuri is aiming to position itself as the “go-to” resource for anyone seeking credible information on African American male experiences.