Male empowerment organization aims to support men of color on campus


The Male Empowerment Network on campus focuses on providing support and opportunities for Kent’s men of color. Pictured above is the executive board for the 2019-2020 school year. Top (left to right): Ja’Vonte Lee, Raynard Pack, Shamar Lucky, Khalil Looney, Dwayne Lopes. Bottom (left to right): Kevin Opoku, Ziad Roufael, David Gary, AJ Magee, Devin Kyle, Eric Brown.

Bella Hagey Reporter

The Male Empowerment Network, an organization on Kent’s campus, has provided men of color with support, empowerment and networking.

“(MEN) is an initiative through the Student Multicultural Center,” said Michael Daniels, the advisor of MEN and the director of the Student Multicultural Center. “We are supporting the academic professional, personal and social development of our men of color here on campus.”

Since the organization’s start, MEN has shown its support through different events and opportunities, including building resumes, inviting a wide range of guest speakers to the weekly meetings and providing workshops centered around healthy masculinity, Daniels said.

“After joining MEN, I’ve made the Dean’s List six semesters in a row,” said Ziad Roufael, the vice president of MEN and a senior biology pre-medicine major. “I’ve made so many connections. I know the whole Diversity, Equity and Inclusion faculty, I’ve met the president on multiple occasions and I know the dean of students. It just opened a lot of doors for me.”

MEN celebrated its 10 year anniversary on Kent’s campus this fall. However, due to COVID-19 related precautions, it was unable to host any of the anniversary celebrations.

The organization plans to celebrate next semester, however, with a series of six short films. Each month a new one will be released, beginning on Jan. 26.

“We’re going to have six episodes,” Daniels said. “And that will help us establish where MEN has been and how it was first created. For example, what it means to the campus, how much value it has to the students, how many different people have been involved in the creation, facilitation and expansion of the Male Empowerment Network for the past 10 years and what we look forward to doing for the next 10 years.”

The organization will be hosting a live, virtual premiere of each episode. Those interested should check MEN’s social media for more information, Daniels said.

MEN will also post the films on the Student Multicultural Center’s YouTube page, Daniels said.

“(The docuseries) will provide us not only the beginning of the celebration for this spring,” Daniels said, “but it will help us to promote the celebration that we’re going to be doing in the fall.”

In fall 2021, MEN plans to host a three-day conference.

“We’re inviting folks from even outside of Kent State University to come and learn how to develop men of color initiatives,” Daniels said. “We’re working with high schools and other colleges to put that on.”

Bella Hagey is a diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected]


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.