Building the Black Community
Grossmont College has become among the first community colleges in San Diego County to launch a Student Charter with the African-American Male Education Network & Development organization (A2MEND), a program focused on creating a supportive environment where African-American men and men of color gain skills and experiences to thrive academically and grow as student leaders.
“Our purpose is to establish a strong community and culture that promotes academic success and nurtures future leaders, all while providing our African-American students an environment where they can thrive,” said Sam Rigby, who serves as the Student Charter’s faculty advisor and Grossmont College’s Program Specialist for NextUp (CAFYES) Foster Youth Services program.
The Grossmont College A2MEND Charter’s bylaws detail the organization’s dedication to developing students’ life skills, reaffirming the value of African-American cultural traditions, creating awareness around issues of social justice, promoting professionalism, building grit, and fostering an environment of positive peer pressure. Members must be dedicated to academic success, leadership development, community service, and mentoring.
Membership is open to all students, with members required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or better. Sam is working with others to recruit members from the Umoja, EOPS, and NextUp programs at Grossmont College and fill critical leadership positions for the Executive Leadership team.
The Student Charter underscores Grossmont College’s commitment to the 3 C‘s: care, commitment, and collective impact. A2MEND incorporates all three.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to deeply impact equitable student outcomes, especially for the African American male student population, Grossmont College,” said Vice President of Student Services Dr. Marsha Gable. “The reaffirmation of cultural traditions, social justice, and validation are hallmarks of the A2MEND organization and student charter, and we are proud as a college to align with those values.”
Like many community colleges, Grossmont has seen its population of African-American students decline in recent years, a trend exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impacts. Despite the decline, Grossmont College – the top-ranked transfer school to San Diego State University – ranks No. 52 in the nation for associate degrees awarded to minorities.
“We want to build a thriving African-American community here at Grossmont College,” Sam said. “A2MEND’s reputation speaks for itself and will play an important part in reaching our goal.”