Pioneered by Mayor Michael B. Coleman and former City Councilman Kevin L. Boyce, the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) began operation in August, 2007. Currently in its 5th year of operation, the AAMI remains a primary part of the Columbus Urban League’s mission to empower members of our community with life changing strategies designed to improve their quality of life.
The AAMI has strategically concentrated its effort on the following initiatives:
- Ex-Offender Re-Entry (Choose 2 Change)
- Responsible Fatherhood (Father 2 Father)
- Youth Mentoring (Urban Warriors)
By focusing on these initiatives, AAMI has maximized its ability to impact a large percentage of the urban African-American community and effectively impact the complex social barriers that contribute to disproportionate rates of incarceration and recidivism, juvenile delinquency, alcohol/substance abuse, inadequate parenting, low graduation rates, and exponentially higher unemployment rates that economically affect the City of Columbus and central Ohio.
Father 2 Father
The Father 2 Father Program is designed to assist Men with becoming the responsible, nurturing and instinctive Fathers they desire to be, while also, educating the general public on the essential role Fathers have in the development of their children. The program serves Fathers of all ethnic/racial groups, though recognizes that the disproportionate need in urban centers will provide a major constituency for our work.
Father 2 Father offers assistance in the following areas:
- Parenting Skills
- Parental Rights - Access / Visitation
- Child Support Management
- Parent/Child Engagement
Choose 2 Change
The Choose 2 Change Program is designed to support the reintegration of Restored Citizens (ex-offenders) into their local communities, support the reduction of prison recidivism, and contribute to efforts designed to improve public safety. We view these citizens as the 21st Century’s Un-Tapped Workforce and are poised to support their successful reintegration through stabilization. The Choose 2 Change program helps restored citizens develop successful reentry strategies for self improvement and change.
- Case Management for life coping skills/barrier removal
- Assistance with Driving Privileges or License Reinstatement
- Letters of Recommendation/Advocacy
- Employment Options
- Customized Child Support Modification and Custody Assistance
- Referral to Additional Community Resources within the first 30 days
The Urban Warriors Program is a peer-group mentoring program that aims to increase the number of Developmental Assets in youth. The Developmental Assets, a data-driven framework for promoting positive development in young adults, established by the Search Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serve as the foundation for service delivery in this program. The CUL Urban Warriors Program equips young people with the skills necessary to make less harmful disruptive choices, and promotes leadership development, inherent to making healthy choices.