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Black Men’s Initiative Forum to focus on healthy interpersonal relationships

February 14, 2014 By Valeria Davis

Now in its sixth year of delving into issues facing black men with the intention of informing, educating and seeking solutions, the student-founded and run Wisconsin Association of Black Men (WABM) will host its annual Black Men’s Initiative Forum on Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22.

The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s forum is “Man in the Mirror: Is Your Self-Identity a Reflection of Your Interpersonal Relationships?” and features keynote speaker Madison community leader, founder of the Nehemiah Center and UW–Madison graduate Dr. Alex Gee.

Registration for the event is available here.

WABM has developed this year’s topic around public persona and private realities. The forum will focus on the challenges facing black males growing up, developing and attending school and college in the Greater Madison area, as well as across America.

In addition to the Friday night plenary, which will be held at held at Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St., from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday morning’s continuing seminar will feature four expert-led workshops at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday’s workshops will include:

  • Family and Friends, a discussion of personal relationships and their influence on who we are today;
  • Romantic Relationships, a discussion our experiences and how to build healthy romantic relationships;
  • Professional Development, a discussion around the relationships in our professional lives; and
  • Self-Growth, a continuing discussion of the keynote address on building healthy relationship with yourself physically and mentally.

Under the guidance of the leaders in the community and campus mentors, WABM has grown into an organization which is developing student leaders, reaching out to other campuses in the Midwest and mentoring high school students across Dane County, said UW–Madison Interim Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Patrick J. Sims.

Although the annual WABM forum focuses on issues facing black men, the topics are relevant to everyone and the entire community is invited to attend and participate.

“I strongly urge you to attend both days of this year’s Black Men’s Initiative as an investment in your future success, especially if you are looking for a mentor or to become a mentor,” Sims said.

For more information, click here or email

Tags: diversity, events