“[I will] prove myself a good member by making a conscious effort to know my fellow brethren on a personal level and by providing a means for advice”
“[I will] demonstrate my character by serving my community to the best of my ability and promoting solidarity amongst all Black identities.”
“[I will] prove myself faithful by attending meetings regularly, and supporting the events and programs sponsored by the Black Men’s Forum”
the big sibling program
The essential backbone of the Black Men’s Forum is brotherhood. In order to accomplish and further this sense of brotherhood, the Matrix program has been implemented so that members not only better understand what this standard of brotherhood entails but also so that they can actively bond together. After going through initiation, it becomes very easy to build close relationships with your initiated class of BMF brothers; however, due to the ever-busy life of Harvard it is much harder to interact with members of other class years. In order to improve the relationships among all members of all years in BMF, the Matrix program serves to tighten the bonds between members of all class years to create a sense of family within the organization. Each matrix consists of one freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior, and throughout the year, there are specific matrix activities such as basketball tournaments and kickbacks where all members of different class years are able to get to know each other on a deeper and more personal level.
Another key feature of the matrix program is that the matrix program is continuous. As the new class of BMF members enters each year, each newly inducted member is entered into a pre-existing matrix in order to maintain a strong connection between all class years. Therefore, the relationships established in the first year grow over the course of a brother’s Harvard career, and because the matrices are continually updated and accessible to each member, this fluidity also creates strong connections between alumni and current undergraduate members.
David Walker Scholars
For the course of a vigorous five years beginning in 1825, David Walker was an integral force in the freedom struggles of Black Bostonians during the early nineteenth century. In 1829, he published An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, an unprecedented anti-slavery, pro-justice treatise of the antebellum period. The Black Men’s Forum has named one of our community service programs in his honor. The David Walker Scholars Program strives to instill cultural pride, civic awareness, and a goal-oriented perspective in middle-school boys from underprivileged Boston area communities. These three aims are achieved through discussion-based classroom sessions; group field trips, and personal mentoring. Through music, film, and literature, the BMF teaches these young men about the culture and history of blacks across the African Diaspora. We work with them to develop skills essential to a fulfilling life, such as understanding the value of a college education, respecting women, self-expression and public speaking. Our relationship with these boys extends beyond the classroom, as our program includes participating in community service projects and attending local, cultural, and arts events. Through the David Walker Scholars Program, the Black Men’s Forum fosters strong personal bonds with these talented young boys, aiding them in their development into successful, driven black men who will strive to be role models and create a positive impact in their communities.
This flagship event is an opportunity for current students and alumni to come together to celebrate the lifelong bond that is the Harvard Black Men’s Forum. Both students and alumni will be presented with ties that commemorate their service to Harvard and the communities with which they have come into contact, and current undergraduates will have the opportunity to network with those who have been in their shoes before in order to prepare the next generation of thoughtful leadership.
As an organization, we understand the value of fostering and building strong relationships with our fellow black organizations, but we also see the importance of bonding with other communities. For this reason, the Black Men’s Forum has cosponsored and organized several events with various organizations of different cultures and ethnicities. One of these events is Rush Hour, a social function sponsored by the Black Men’s Forum, the Black Students Association, the Chinese Students Association, and the Asian American Brotherhood. Through events such as these, we continue to further our influence and reach not only to the black community, but also various other communities throughout Harvard’s campus