Austin Peay State University (APSU)
Clarksville, TN – This January, Austin Peay State University (APSU) unveiled a new leadership course designed specifically for African American men in the Achievers and Scholars Mentoring Initiative on campus, and on April 23rd, 2019 the University honored the first 10 graduates of the course during a special ceremony in the APSU Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center.
The course, Foundations of Minority Leadership, was the brainchild of Marcelius Braxton, director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, and Lorneth Peters, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, and it is part of the cultural center’s Achievers and Scholars mentoring Initiative.
That mentoring program was developed to ensure the academic and personal success of African American males.
“We wanted to have a business component in there also,” Peters said. “As part of the class, we brought in minority males in leadership positions and entrepreneurs, and the students were able to ask questions about the struggles they had and how they developed their leadership and business acumen skills.”
The program also featured a service-learning component that took the students to Head Start classrooms where they worked with preschool age children.
“This leadership course was a wonderful opportunity for a great group of African American young men to learn, grow and pay it forward,” Braxton. “These young men unpacked the issues that minorities face as leaders and on the path to leadership, and they were able to approach this course from the perspective of being mentored as well as from the perspective of serving as mentors. I am so proud of their maturity and growth.”
The hybrid class met online and in the cultural center on Mondays once a month. The program will soon be accepting applications for next year’s Foundations of Minority Leadership class. For information on the Achievers and Scholars, contact the cultural center at or go to www.apsu.edu/aacc/a-s/index.php