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August 2017: Director’s Corner

August 2017: In Service and Solidarity


Greetings Friends,

It has been a busy summer! After sending you the inaugural issue of the YBMen Newsletter back in January, our team jumped right into transcribing interviews and analyzing data from our Fall 2016 iteration of the YBMen Project at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

This work has continued into the summer months. In addition to analyzing the data from EMU, we are also preparing to launch another iteration of the YBMen Project at Michigan State University and Ohio State University this fall — this will be our biggest data collection season ever! So I welcome the opportunity to take a brief pause from the hustle and bustle of the summer to share with you the second issue of the YBMen newsletter.

In this issue you will see a story from Nkemka Anyiwo, a PhD student and research assistant for the YBMen project. In her article, Nkemka writes about the impact of policing on the well-being of young black men. In the next few issues of this newsletter, we will feature more stories written by our team members, as I have the privilege of working with some amazing people who are committed to the well-being of people of color. In many ways, this issue of the newsletter serves as a “teaser” for the YBMen team videos that we will post to the YBMen website very soon. These videos feature members from our team and will give you a sense for our passion and commitment to improving the mental health of young black men.

With every passing week I find myself reflecting on our progress. It is hard to believe that fifteen years ago I began my journey to improve the living, learning, and working conditions of black men. But it was not until recently that a team of inspiring individuals joined me on my journey. I hope this newsletter and the videos you will see in the coming weeks will feed your soul the way they have fed mine. I feel fortunate to be chosen to improve the lives of black men, but I feel even more fortunate to not have to do it alone.

In service and solidarity,
Daphne C. Watkins, PhD
Director, The YBMen Project




Dr. Daphne Watkins