A Message from Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
When President Barack Obama announced the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in February 2014, philanthropists, researchers, and community service leaders across the nation banded together to address the opportunity gap for young men of color. They have turned their attention to this population because of its urgent, demonstrated needs—especially when it comes to access to college and graduate school. The University of Texas at Austin has been and will continue to be at the forefront of this issue; yet there is more work we can to do to help open doors for these young men locally, regionally, and nationally. In response to the national call of “My Brother’s Keeper,” the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) launched the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color.
I believe The University of Texas at Austin has a special opportunity to make an impact on this issue, here and now. Through dedicated resources, innovative research, community partnerships, and evidence-based practices, we can and will lead a more positive trend in higher education. The basis for this trend already exists at UT Austin: the DDCE projects it will spend just under $6 million in staffing, student teaching, programming, and outreach funds for men of color initiatives over a 10-year period through 2020.
Even as UT Austin has been dedicated to this issue for some time, we also know that our current work serving young men of color is only as good as our aspirations to move them forward. Through the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, we strive to expand our research and our evidence-based practices, paving new inroads to serve students through existing and new channels on the local, state, and national levels. At the same time, we are engaged in and wish to expand our programming for young women of color as well, as they face their own unique set of issues to access and achievement.
Young women of color deserve similar attention across the educational pipeline, and UT is dedicated to both populations; though the underrepresentation of men of color in higher education is disproportionately greater than that of their female counterparts.
Whether you are a student, a researcher, or community member, I hope you will join me in supporting the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color. Through ambitious goals that span the research-to-practice spectrum, we can make a collective impact that illustrates that at The University of Texas at Austin, what starts here really does change the world
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law