April 15, 2005
The University of La Verne’s Brother’s Forum has a clear mission: provide a network of support for young Black men enrolled at the University to assist them in attaining their collegiate goals.
“African American males nationwide are going to college but not graduating,” said Rasheed Ivey, vice president of Brother’s Forum and senior psychology major.
Ivey said that the forum, which is geared towards African Americans, exists to keep males in line and welcomes males of all ethnicities, excluding no one except females.
“Discrimination is not a laughing matter and we accept everyone,” Ivey said. “People often think we aren’t accepting, but we are.”
With around 20 members and meetings held every other Monday, the Brother’s Forum discusses issues like education, financial aid and the various social problems that its members are facing.
If a member does not have enough money for something, such as books or other scholastic expenses, the group will find ways to raise money so that his needs will be met and he will be able to continue his studies.
While the forum is predominantly made up of young African Americans, the group reaches out to all men of ethnicities and ages, offering them an ear to come and talk to.
“Brother’s Forum is about African Americans coming together in a positive outlook,” said Roger Logan, secretary of the group and junior criminology major. “The group is a way for African American males to step up and be heard and try to be leaders on this campus.”
Brother’s Forum is not an organization that often holds events because they feel that they focus a little more on serious things while they leave it up to African American Student Alliance to plan the more social events.
President Wilfred Claiborne, who is a junior business administration major, wants the club to continue its activities and while he is here at the University he wants to see each and every black male graduate, he said.
Claiborne, who Became a member his freshman year, said the club is very precious to him and he would be hurt if the club fell apart.
The club’s group of officers did not exist until the end of Claiborne’s sophomore year when he saw the club falling apart and decided that it needed more structure if it were continue to do its work.
“I think it is important for the leader to give inspiration from the back rather than leading from the front,” Claiborne said. “Things happen when people get involved and you see people change their ways. I like to set the spark and then sit and watch the group turn it into a fire.”
Brother’s Forum has been providing support on campus for more than a decade now. Former forum president Eric Bishop, associate dean of academic support and retention, is its adviser.
Christine Moitoso can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.