Black Male Initiative

Black Make Initiative at NC State University“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
— Booker T. Washington

The Black Male Initiative strives to establish a brotherhood and develop leaders among Black male students in the Avent Ferry Complex (AFC). By promoting academic success, personal growth, professional development and self-responsibility, the group breaks through negative  stereotypes and combats challenges facing African American males in today’s society.

The community first began with 38 designated living spaces in the Avent Ferry Complex. Residents participating in the new program lived together in Avent Ferry and attended programs and workshops that supported the mission of the Initiative. The original program was known as the African American Male Initiative, which was changed to the Black Male Initiative as an effort to create a community more inclusive for men of various African Diasporas. The Black Male Initiative is being piloted as a full Living and Learning Village during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Apply for the Black Male Initiative by submitting a Village Application in MyPack Portal after completing your University Housing Application.


  • Study halls
  • Resume workshops
  • Community service
  • Attending university sporting events
  • Budgeting and finance workshops
  • Health and wellness workshops
  • Ropes course
  • Trips around North Carolina and the country
  • More!

What our students say

“As a student at NC State who never had an African American professor and who would often be the only African American male in my accounting courses, the initiative gave me the opportunity to connect and interact with other African American males. Through the Black Male Initiative, I learned about life and gained professional skills that I will definitely use in the corporate world. One of the best aspects of the support group last year was the all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to tour the White House. The experience that I have had with the initiative was beyond amazing.”Shawn Edwards, Accounting major

“The Black Male Initiative really brought me closer to some of my fellow brothers. There is no telling where the networking can lead you! Glad I was able to experience the initiative!”Demetrius Tillery, Meteorology major

“This initiative is more than another organization. It creates a bond that will establish friendships and open doors while in and out of college. It gives guidance as you begin to take steps into manhood and become an adult. I appreciated all the talks and enlightening that happened among us as it made me a better person.”Jalen Youmans, Engineering major

“My fondest memory of the Black Male Initiative is when our guest speaker didn’t show up and everyone stayed in the meeting to talk and get to know each other better. We had a good time just hanging around talking about movies and video games. It was a nice pow-wow that I really needed that week. I think that any Black males who would like to have a group of friends that they can count on and have a good time with should join this community.Sean Sanders, Mechanical Engineering Major

Meet Your Staff



CJ Jackson
Assistant Director, Southeast Campus

Curtis “CJ” Jackson serves as the Assistant Director for Southeast Campus. The support and success of minority males has been a passion of his since middle school. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a degree in Criminal Justice and earned a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State University.



Qwen Ballard
Residence Director, Avent Ferry Complex

Marcellus “Qwen” Ballard serves as the Avent Ferry Complex Resident Director (RD). He is also the Program Coordinator for the BMI. Qwen is an alumnus of NC State, where he earned a degree in Business and Marketing. He is currently pursuing his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from NC State as well.