HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton University is dedicated to reducing violence and building strong men of good character. On Sunday June 25, 2017, Hampton University’s Promise Program celebrated its’ third annual culminating event. The culminating event awarded dozens of young men who completed the program this year.
“There is no doubt that this program is changing the lives of these young men and their families for the better” said Dr. Malone-Colon, the principle investigator and one of the creators of the Program. “We are so excited about what it is doing to help young men to realize their full and best potential and we look forward to more young men benefitting from it as this national model is implemented across the country”.
The Promise Program represents one of several projects that are being conducted through HU’s Minority Men’s Health Initiative. The program is the brainchild of HU's President Dr. William R. Harvey who approached the National Institute of Health to consider crime as a health disparity. This project addresses the disproportionate rates of violence that exist for African American men. Researchers in both the Psychology and Sociology departments at Hampton University developed an evidence-based model that relies on African American cultural strengths to reduce homicide rates for African American young men.
African American male participants between ages 12-25 participate in a 6-month program of workshops and activities that are designed to reduce violence through developing character, changing violent attitudes and behaviors and building a sense of community. The program utilizes African American male facilitators and mentors, some of whom are Hampton University students, to deliver the curriculum content, serve as role models and provide a support system for program participants. Each week of the program, participants are brought to HU’s campus to engage in discussions and activities. Exposure to the campus environment as well as exciting activities like horseback riding often illuminate perceptions of their potential, for these young men.
According to Dr. Linda Malone-Colon, the promise program uses research to create a violence prevention and personal development program specifically tailored for those that are most at risk, yet have tremendous potential/promise. Since its’ inception in 2014, the Promise Program has shown success. The young men who have participated in the program demonstrate a decreased desire to engage in violent behaviors.
For more information on The Promise Program, please contact Ms. Nineveh Haysbert at 757.727.6793. For more information on the Hampton University Minority Men’s Health Initiative, please contact Dr. Wayne Harris, Lead Principal Investigator at 757.728.6030.