The Black CAPs gathering at City Hall included members of the Mayor’s Commission for African Males and recent graduates.
On May 19, Arcadia University 2013 graduates Stephen J. Tyson Jr., who earned a Master of Arts degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Ralph Sean Collins Sr., who earned a Master of Business Administration degree, gathered at City Hall alongside nearly three dozen Black men who earned degrees from area colleges for the inaugural Black CAPs Philly 2013: A Celebration of Black Men’s Academic Achievements.
The idea for a citywide Black male graduation came from students in a graduate-level independent study class at the University of Pennsylvania. The Mayor’s Commission for African American Males (MCAAM) picked up the idea and in a short period of time, Black CAPS Philly 2013 evolved. The MCAAM was joined in this effort by AAKT Concepts LLC, Black Male Development Symposium, Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
“The presence of co-sponsors and supporters beyond the Commission was our way of harnessing a citywide commitment to make sure that Black men have access to the opportunities their work and accomplishments should afford them,” said Erick K. Grimes, MCAAM Education Committee Chair, and one of the event’s coordinators. “Black CAPs Philly 2013 was a great success and we look forward to making this an annual national event. We see it as a way of motivating young Black males, and others, to pursue education and college, since the men present today show that it can be done.”