Skip to Content

‘Black men serving excellence’ new UMD group hopes to change stereotypes

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

DULUTH, MN -- A city known for its beauty is also home to what data shows are an absence of racial and ethnic diversification.

"Coming to Duluth I saw how scenic the city was, how big the city was, but how lack of diverse the school was and how lack of diverse the city was," said UMD's Asst. Football Coach, Marcus Mclin.

According to Data USA, which compiles public data, in 2017, there were more than 28 times more White residents in Duluth, than any other race or ethnicity.

It's no different for the University of Minnesota Duluth.
According to UMD's Enrollment and Demographic Characteristics for Fall 2019, out of the more than 9,800 students attending the college, 280 were African American, and just over 1,000 were unidentified, compared to the nearly 8200 white students.

"Switching to here was like a huge culture shock," said UMD Junior, Dayvia Gbor.

Gbor said Tuesday it's difficult finding other people who look like him roaming the campus, "Being in Duluth if you don't play sports it's rare if a black man is going to come to a school here."

Coach Mclin agreed, he adds he's the only Black faculty in the athletics department.

"I like the city of Duluth, I like the campus, I think it's a really good university, I think it has ways to go but I think it's on the right direction," said Coach Mclin.

This is why both men along with others decided to start a group last fall, 'Black Men Serving Excellence.'

"It's constantly growing," said Gbor.

The 15 members so far, are hoping to change the narrative of black men in America.

"Our mission statement is to create a bond of the brotherhood of likeminded individuals to cultivate young black leaders and strive for excellence in all of our endeavors," said Gbor.

The men plan to volunteer, visit schools around Duluth, and hold peaceful protests surrounding global issues, hoping others join in too.

"There is something you can do to help this cause like we all are a part of the cause and starting in Duluth it's a smaller community but we think we can have a big impact and continue to spread change all across the world," said Gbor.

BMSE is holding a peaceful protest Wednesday along with a march against police shootings and racial injustice.

The event is set to start at 5 p.m. at UMD's Football Stadium.

Participants are encouraged to bring masks, signs, and water.

UMD released a statement Tuesday regarding the new group saying,

"UMD supports all students and their advocacy efforts. We ask that students and all members of our campus community, model our core values, and BMSE has done a nice job aligning with and demonstrating these values."

If you'd like more information about BMSE click here.

Lyanne Valdez

Skip to content