AAMES (Hinkley) Chapter

AAMES Belief 

We believe institutional racism negatively affects the likelihood of Black Student Achievement. We also believe young African American Men can be empowered to achieve collective and personal success 

We have designed a unique student experience that affords the opportunity for youth to positively navigate oppressive systems so they can create opportunities for themselves and their community. 

Most importantly, we enhance their existing gifts and abilities with the additional support necessary to succeed in this world as a Black Man. 

"It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." 

-Frederick Douglass 

What We Believe Works: Our Method 

VOICE & CHOICE:  

Challenge: African American students are too often poorly educated regarding their history and contributions to American society. They are routinely disciplined at higher rates & silenced in the educational setting. They often are not given the support and freedom to exercise their thoughts and ideas. This hinders their academic growth and achievement. 

AAMES Strategy: An AAMES founding principle is to give African American students a safe space to exercise their thoughts and ideas and allow them to choose what is important to learn. It is our core belief that they are intelligent problem-solvers who, when given the opportunity and support, are able to achieve whatever they set their minds to. Therefore, AAMES provides multiple platforms for students to exercise their Voice & Choice. 

AAMES implements African American students' Voice & Choice in all programming. They are in charge of what they are learning and doing. This is executed in the following ways: 

1)  AAMES Student Leadership Team 

2)  Event design & feedback 

3)  Surveys 

4)  Round Tables/Talking Circles 

5)  One-on-one discussions 

Additionally, all of our events and activities provide opportunities for students to interact with one another in safe spaces. Oftentimes they are joined by African American Mentors and professionals from the community. Below is a sample of the types of activities they engage in: 

1)  Barbershop Talks 

2)  Career Fairs 

3)  Silent Discussions 

4)  Workshops (finance, relationships, success, NCAA) 

5) Meet & Greets 

CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS:  

Challenge:  African American students are subjected to prejudice, discrimination, and racism in the educational setting and in society on a regular basis. Oftentimes, the consequences are internalized and can have a detrimental impact on their emotional/mental health and achievement.  

AAMES Strategy: An AAMES core principle is developing Critical Consciousness which allows students to identify and understand the systems at work in their lives. As a result, they are able to build protective factors to deal with such issues and take constructive action. This builds resiliency, which allows them to continue to achieve and persevere through the challenges they face. Critical Consciousness provides the awareness and context for the barriers they face. It also is the key to building capacity for action and personal success.  

AAMES develops Critical Consciousness in the following ways: 

1)  Barbershop Talks 

2)  Frequent discussions 

3)  One-on-One discussions 

4)  Speakers 

5)  Conferences & workshops 

Bi-Directional MENTORING:  

Challenge:  Society is filled with a negative images & narratives about African American men. Society indoctrinates African American students to believe their choices are limited. These messages are internalized & confine our young men who are often wondering, “What are my options?” and “How can I be successful?” 

AAMES Strategy:  An AAMES core principle is representation matters. Students need role models and support in and from their local community. They need to see men that look like them who are successful in school, their community, and the world. Therefore, AAMES has created a Bi-Directional Mentoring System that is aligned with their development. Local African American men and college students support high school students. High school students mentor middle school students, and middle school students will mentor elementary school students.    

AAMES Mentors are local businessmen, teachers, therapists, engineers, accountants, directors, realtors, professors, project managers, etc. in their local community. These men have navigated society and provide a roadmap for success for their younger counterparts. AAMES Mentors provide the following: 

1) Skills and strategies for success 

2) Experience and knowledge 

3) Support and accountability 

AAMES College Mentors are African American college students who have completed training at the college/university level and work with AAMES Student Leaders to support the mission and goals of the project by providing the following: 

1) Skills and strategies for successful navigation  

2) Experience and knowledge of transitions  

3) Support and brotherhood  

AAMES High School Mentors have completed mentor training and work with local middle school students to support their success. Their goal is to implement AAMES vision, mission, and goals and create leaders to increase their success and achievement and build a healthy community for African American students in their school.     

1) Skills and strategies for successful navigation  

2) Experience and knowledge (transitions) 

3) Support and accountability 

AAMES Middle School Mentors are currently being developed. Their goal will to be to simulate the current system and provide personal and academic support.  

*Some AAMES events and activities will include mentor/student blends from all levels 

ACTIVE LEARNING:  

Challenge: Nationally, there is an Achievement or Opportunity Gap, in which African American students are academically performing at the lowest level as compared to other students. Additionally, they are being disciplined at higher rates than other students and this is called the School to Prison Pipeline. These two factors frequently lead to a high level of academic disengagement and disenfranchisement. 

AAMES Strategy: An AAMES core principle is that students learn best by doing. Central to that belief is that African American students are problem-solvers innovators, and critical thinkers who, when given the tools and support needed, are able to succeed at any task set before them. AAMES Student Leadership Council & Committees are supported by mentors, local sponsors, supporters, and AAMES committee personnel to plan, implement and execute all AAMES events and activities which are created with Active Learning at the core. Below is a list of the things the Student Leadership Team has accomplished: 

Grant Writing 

Financial Responsibility & Budget Management  

Event Planning (all AAMES events) 

Mentor Workshops 

Mentoring of Underclassmen & Middle School Students  

Presentations: Administrative requests 

Presentations: School staff 

Presentations: Conferences (CSCA & NEA) 

Hosted Student Panels for College Conference(s) 

Summer Internships 

Healing Circles 

Student Advisory Committees (school-based) 

Induction Ceremony 

Field Trips 

 

 

 

ALL AAMES Events and Activities  

are Designed with these  

4 Core Principles as the Foundation