On January 11, 2006, Dr. John Hudgins, chairperson of the Social Sciences Department at Coppin State University (CSU), convened a campus-wide forum entitled, “Is There a Male Student Crisis at Coppin State University?” The forum was a call to action for Coppin administrators, staff, and faculty to lend their expertise to figure out how to attract, retain, and graduate males from Coppin State University. The forum was undertaken at the suggestion of the former Coppin State University President Dr. Stanley Battle, and with the approval of the former Provost, Dr. Sadie Gregory, in an effort to address the issue of the low numbers of male students who are retained and graduated from the University. The forum was also held in response to a series of articles circulated to the Coppin Family. The articles, primarily from the Washington Post, focused on the disappearance of males from the educational setting of high school though college. Several articles focused specifically on the decline in African-American male college graduates. At the forum’s end, participants were invited to sign up to take part in a committee being formed to work on the issues affecting the retention and graduation rates of Coppin’s male students. This forum was the genesis of the Black Male Initiative Task Force.
Since its inception, the Task Force has coordinated several panels, workshops, and symposiums, and worked to bring several guest speakers to campus. The Task Force has also collaborated with several other campus organizations to facilitate student centered programs and activities.