YouLead Black Male Initiative

YouLead Black Male Initiative

Thanks to the leadership of and generous funding from the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the Howard University School of Business became one of three universities to pilot the ELC Black Male Initiative. While the program began in Fall 2021, the impact of COVID delayed its full launch in the manner it was originally envisioned. The program was fully launched with incoming students in Fall 2022, even as we all continued to endure the impact of COVID, coupled with attacks on HBCUs in the form of bomb threats, and a variety of other challenges due to our current environment. In the midst of this, we have witnessed the resilience of our student body as we have created a space that is safe for them to learn, grow, explore and overcome together. This ELC funded initiative, coined the “You Lead Male Initiative” on Howard’s campus, has been central to our ability to create this space and ensure the incoming students identifying as male on our campus have the support they need to succeed and thrive. 

Program Coordinator
Dr. Koyah Alston

Initiative Principles & Activities

Student Success Coaching

Our hallmark intervention, Student Success Coaching provides scholars the space to explore their passion and what truly inspires them. Students struggling with adjustments to collegiate living are provided the motivational tools and support they need to ensure their success. Freshman are required to meet with the Program Director to receive coaching and encouragement. Students are asked to express their passion – their “Aha, this is it” – and are provided honest conversation about personal, academic, and professional opportunities that will help them leverage that passion and ensure their success. The open door atmosphere and the ease it creates keeps students engaged with program staff – outside of their required meeting – openly sharing their journey and eagerly seeking guidance.


Thanks to the generous support of the Executive Leadership Council, scholars have an opportunity to apply for five (5) $10,000 scholarships. Applicants will demonstrate exceptional progress and participation in the YLMI program.

Executive Lecture Series

Students are exposed to a series of lecture formatted discussions with influential black male leaders in the business community throughout the semester. They hear about real life challenges in corporate America and learn tips on successful professional development strategies and approaches.

Social & Professional Development

Students are provided opportunities to build personal and professional networks. Mentoring with successful African- American males is a key component and outcome measurement for YLMI. 

Throughout the year, various pro-social events were held to help create a synergy and a sense of unity between the scholars. Pro-social activities allow scholars to organically create relationships that will also serve to expand their professional networks upon graduation. Game Truck Night, Basketball/Dodgeball, and the Ice Cream Social were three well attended events this past year. With the introduction of the Student Leadership Board to YLMI, students pursuing a leadership position also used these events to garner support for their campaign. Students expressed an interest to do more community-based activities to help strengthen their sense of brotherhood, and the SOB community structure will allow opportunities to engage around common interests.

Academic Excellence

Student academic performance is monitored throughout the semester and students are encouraged to engage program staff to help identify academic support in specific subject areas they may struggle with.

Brotherhood & Community

In "Men Tell All" conversations, scholars hold honest conversations about matters that concern young Black men. Participants expressed a feeling and longing for a sense of brotherhood and community, and YLMI provides them that opportunity.