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Uzuri Think Tank Launches with “Perspectives”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pittsburgh -- The Uzuri Think Tank at Robert Morris University is hosting “Perspectives,” a roundtable discussion and community focus group on the subject of black male educational success.

Bringing together community stakeholders, researchers, and scholars, this focus group will promote provocative conversation in an effort to produce insights and ideas on factors that affect the educational success of the modern African-American male.

“Perspectives” will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at RMU’s Moon Township campus. Food and wine will be served at a pre-event reception that will be held in the Rudolph Family Gardens, followed by the focus group conversations at 7 p.m. in Massey Theater. The event will include a spoken-word performance by local Pittsburgh artist Leslie Ezra Smith.

A roundtable discussion will take place featuring distinguished Pittsburgh scholars: The Reverend William H. Curtis, senior pastor, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church; Alex Johnson, outgoing president, Community College of Allegheny County; Larry E. Davis, dean, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh; and Rex L. Crawley, assistant dean, School of Communication and Information Systems and endowed chair, the Uzuri Think Tank at Robert Morris University

"The goal of 'Perspectives' is to push boundaries and thinking on black male educational success. The focus group will explore a variety of creative models and approaches that together can create a better understanding of how to bring about positive change among black males," said Crawley.

The Uzuri Think Tank, housed in the Robert Morris University 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 fall 2012. The endowed center was made possible by a generous gift from the Heinz Endowments. Uzuri is focused on success factors, while the scope of the center is purposefully wide to leave room for issues and research topics to emerge.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.