CSU alumnus gives African-American students a “Blueprint” for change at Male Initiative forum
By Cheryl D’Mello
“You have got to have a desire to make an impact…and use your education for maximum community benefit,” Dr. Leonard N. Moore emphatically told the students and faculty gathered at the Kikundi-Black Male Initiative, Men Moving Forward Forum.
The forum and luncheon were sponsored by Cleveland State’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs on Oct. 17, 2008 at Fenn Tower Ballroom.
Dr. Moore’s topic was titled “When Black College Students Change the Game: A Blueprint for the Hip-Hop Generation.” Men Moving Forward is a forum that serves as a catalyst for African American males to maximize their collegiate experience.
Dr. Moore is an Associate Professor in Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Moore also supervises several outreach centers and academic excellence programs.
A native of Cleveland Heights, Dr. Moore received his B.A. in History from Jackson State University in 1993 and his M.A. in History from Cleveland State University in 1994 before earning his Ph.D. in American History from the Ohio State University in 1998 at the age of 26.
A nationally recognized scholar on issues about race and popular culture, he is the author of “Carl Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power in America.” The historical book chronicles the life and accomplishments of Carl Stokes, who was elected as Mayor of Cleveland in 1976 - the first black man elected as mayor of a major U.S. city. Stokes’ legendary rise to power gains special relevance in light of the recent Presidential election.
In his lecture, Dr. Moore stressed the importance of personal successes over monetary success.
“Money will follow if you are passionate about what you do,” he told forum audiences. Dr. Moore shared his own personal story of following passion when he decided to study history at the risk of upsetting his family.
As for achieving personal satisfaction in one’s own life, Dr. Moore encouraged students to “pursue what you love…ignore the haters…get liberated from other people’s opinions… and learn to ask for help.”
He also emphasized delayed gratification and having a “dream team.”
“Racism and other issues are not going away,” he cautioned. “You have to have a vision for your life, a plan of where you are trying to go…and be persistent.”
Dr. Moore also praised his alma mater, telling students that they are getting “a quality education at CSU.” He encouraged students to “learn to be creative, instead of becoming consumers.”
The forum and luncheon began with a dramatic recitation of poems by Prester Pickett, M.F.A., Coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center.
Dr. Moore was introduced by Jason Russell, Graduate Assistant- Kikundi-BMI Coordinator at CSU.
Dr. Dwayne Wright, Assistant Professor – Curriculum & Foundations, wrapped up the forum by reiterating what he had learned growing up – “to crawl before you walk”.
Dr. Moore was invited to CSU by Dr. Robert Wheeler, Associate Professor, Emeritus in the History Department, to discuss Dr. Moore’s book on Carl Stokes with students enrolled in History 201 and History 500 classes.