Jermaine Wright, University Director, CUNY Black Male Initiative
Jermaine Wright is the University Director of The City University of New York Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI). A graduate of Binghamton University with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, Wright later earned a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in Management and Operations from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY. Prior to assuming the role of University Director, Wright served as the first CUNY BMI University Associate Director for six years. As the Associate Director, he developed and implemented structured mentorship programs for nearly 3,000 students CUNY wide within the BMI projects and managed/provided technical assistance to approximately 100 administrators/faculty members throughout CUNY system running BMI projects. Before CUNY, Wright worked at the National Urban League as a Program Manager for the Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP), a comprehensive workforce development model for disconnected and adjudicated youth between the ages of 18 -24. As a Program Manager, Wright managed several National Urban League affiliates across the nation that were operating UYEP. Additionally, he revised program policies/procedures to better serve participants' needs. Wright’s other work experience includes monitoring the employment status of clients transitioning from public assistance to the workforce as a Site Supervisor at Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, and developing workshops/special events for low-wage workers as an AmeriCorps member. Wright is also a doctoral student at Rutgers University-Newark in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA). His research interest includes the use performance information at educational institutions. In his spare time, Wright serves as a mentor to young people through Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., an international service organization predicated on achievement and the uplifting of under-served low-income communities. Wright’s email address is:

Shawn Best, University Associate Director, CUNY Black Male Initiative
Shawn Best is the Associate Director of the Black Male Initiative at the City University of New York. Best previously served as the Project Coordinator for the Black Male Initiative at Hunter College from January 2012 until September 2014. He comes to the Central Office with experience working in Residence Life, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Athletics and Admissions. Best received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont in May, 2000. He received his Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University in May, 2004. Best’s passions lie in helping college students experience holistic success and receive mentorship. In particular, Best's journey to his current career was paved with mentorship from some of the top African American male college administrators in the country including Douglas Samuels and Allen McFarlane. At New York University, Best worked with Allen McFarlane to co-found ‘Brothers For Success’, a student affairs support program for primarily black male students, that was funded by the New York Times. Best also enjoys performing as a musician in and around New York City as well as personal training, writing and speaking at colleges around the country to inspire staff, faculty and students to 'Be Your Best' through his company, Best Solutions NYC. With over 14 years of higher education experience, Shawn is an excellent communicator and creative problem solver with a unique skill of finding the best solutions to organizational problems. Once deployed, Best has an assertive commitment to follow through on implementation and accountability. With nationally recognized leadership skills by the Association of College Personnel Administrators (ACPA) as the Northeast Regional Chair of the Housing Committee, he works well within diverse communities that embrace positive change. Best began his doctoral degree in Organization Leadership at Northeastern University with plans to graduate in 2018. You can reach Best at:

Alan Newton, Research Associate (part-time), CUNY Black Male Initiative
Alan Newton is a part-time Research Associate with The City University of New York Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI).  He earned an A.A. degree from Dutchess Community College/SUNY and a B.S. in Business Administration from Medgar Evers College/CUNY.  Before becoming CUNY BMI's Research Associate, Newton was the Student Director for Justice Initiatives at The Male Development and Empowerment Center (MDEC) at Medgar Evers College/CUNY.  Among numerous duties, Newton provided counsel to students, organized off-campus seminars and recruited prospective college students.  He also supported the work of MDEC's advisory group by scheduling meetings, preparing program materials, and maintaining an online networking tool to foster increased communication between MDEC and its community partners.  As for his work related to MDEC's community outreach efforts, Newton assisted in developing partnerships with community organizations with goals and objectives that are directly aligned with MDEC's mission.  Through this outreach work, Newton extended the resources of the Center beyond Medgar Evers College through fostering collaboration and exchange with a diverse array of people as well as community organizations.  Newton also assisted students, at their request, with legal issues by interacting with their legal representatives.  A frequent public speaker on law enforcement practices leading to wrongful convictions, Mr. Newton is currently preparing for the law school application process. Newton's email address is

CUNY Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Liaison to CUNY BMI

McDonald-Ian James, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Liaison, CUNY Black Male Initiative
McDonald-Ian James is the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Liaison to The City University of New York Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI) and the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.  He earned an A.A. degree from Medgar Evers College/CUNY and a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from the CUNY BA Program in 2004. James later earned a M.A. in International Relations from The City College of New York/CUNY.  James  received an advance certificate in Immigration Law from the School of Professional Studies/CUNY in 2008. He also completed the Institute of Education Management at Harvard Graduate School of Education and the American College Personnel Association Management Institute.  As a student, James was involved in a number of activities that would have overwhelmed someone without his time management and organizational skills. At Medgar Evers College, James was Associate Editor of the student newspaper Adafi, a member of the College's chapter of the American Black Social Workers, and a student leader in the Male Development and Empowerment Center (MDEC). He also served as a student representative on the planning and budgetary committees for Medgar Evers College's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the campus Library and Information Services. James assisted his fellow students at Medgar Evers College as an English tutor and invested in the next generation of college students by serving as an after-school program mentor at a high school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He represented Medgar Evers College at the 3rd annual Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund leadership conference as well as at a Congressional Black Caucus conference on The State of the African American Male. In 2003, James was a recipient of the Hawks International Youth Organization's "Project Under-Wing" Scholarship and the Diego Hidalgo Scholarship, both designed to assist students studying Political Science. Additionally, he received the Harriet Brows scholarship for social change and the Thomas W. Smith academic scholarship. In 2004, James served as an congressional intern in the office of United States Representative Major Owens. James’ email address is:


Register today for the Tenth Annual CUNY BMI Conference!
“Increasing Black and Latino Student Engagement and Success in Higher Education”
Friday, October 16, 2015, 8:30AM – 7:00PM
Gerald W. Lynch Theatre
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W. 59th Street, NY, NY 10019

For a list of local hotel accommodations, please click here:
Hotels near John Jay College

CUNY Pipeline Program

An opportunity program for CUNY undergraduates who aspire to earn doctorates.

LET'S GET READY Free SAT Preparation and College Admissions Counseling

Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship (KSTF)

To apply, please click here:

2015 Summer Pipeline Programs for CUNY BMI Undergraduates

CUNY BMI undergraduates are encouraged to apply to summer pipeline programs to prepare for competitive graduate and professional school admissions processes.
Click here for a list of programs

CUNY Opportunity Programs and Specialized Programs

Click here to download list pdf

CUNY Scholarship Information
CUNY USS (University Student Senate) Scholarship Page
Skadden, Arps Honors Program for Legal Studies

Find It





College Websites





Main Links


Assistive Options

Top of page

Assistive Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a Usablenet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.