Brotherhood Initiative

Program Overview

The Brotherhood Initiative is a cohort-based program at the University of Washington that utilizes research-based strategies to study and promote college retention and graduation among men of color. Each cohort consists of approximately 30 students.

The BI provides multiple pathways for participants to access networks and resources that will advance their success, focusing on academic, civic, and leadership opportunities. Through these multiple forms of engagement, students not only gain the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in college, but they also develop a learning community of scholars.

BI Seminars

A primary component of the initiative is the curriculum, which includes two year-long academic seminars that BI Scholars take with their cohort in their freshmen and sophomore years. These small seminars integrate academic skill-building, utilizing university resources, and major & career exploration with in-depth engagement in issues of race, masculinity, and intersectional identities.


BI Scholars take 5 credits of electives in one or both of two areas:

  1. Skills & Success electives include courses in any department that focus on academic or personal exploration, skill-building, and/or development.
  2. Equity, Social Justice and/or Civic Engagement electives include courses in any department that speak to issues of diversity, equity or social justice.

Co-curricular Engagement

BI Scholars participate in at least two experiential learning activities outside the classroom in the following areas:

  • Community engagement
  • Undergraduate research
  • Internship or career-related employment
  • Leadership (through a student organization, the Husky Leadership Initiative, or other role)
  • International engagement

Additional Activities and Events

BI Scholars also participate in a wide variety of other activities and events including a first-year student retreat, career and networking events, quarterly advising, study halls, intramural sports, peer mentoring, an end-of-year celebration, and more.