History of the BI
Launched in 2016, the Brotherhood Initiative is the result of a cross-unit, collaborative effort that utilizes a collective impact framework to leverage the expertise of multiple departments and divisions across campus, in order to promote equitable educational outcomes for men of color at the University of Washington.
In 2015, a group of campus practitioners, undergraduate students, faculty, and graduate student researchers came together to engage in a year-long, equity-based inquiry process. We began by examining institutional data on undergraduate academic performance and graduation rates by race and gender to learn more about undergraduate educational outcomes. The research team then conducted a review of existing research on men of color, as well as a series of interviews and focus groups with men of color on the UW campus, and a scan of existing retention programs on campus. The findings were shared with the larger group and used to generate the BI theory of action, inform our programmatic design, and shape our research priorities. The first cohort of 28 BI students began at UW in the fall of 2016. Today the BI has over 70 alumni and serves almost 200 students.