"Our mission is to perform various functions in the operations of Portland State University and the surrounding community by positively portraying Men of Color through Action, Education, Organization and Networking (AEON)."
As a growing and thriving university, P.S.U has also grown in diversity over the years. And while students from marginalized communities are increasingly accepted, there is an issue retaining them due to socio-economic situations and lack of a clear place / home on campus. Thanks to educated supporters, people are aware of this and have done what they could to change that, such as advocating for the multicultural center and P.S.U’s diversity action plan and the creation of the Diversity & Multicultural Student Services. This has allowed people to come together around solutions to the retention issue. For example, D.M.S.S Students are largely made up of first generation, low income students from a variety of backgrounds. Their actions and theoretical foundation have increased retention to 80%+ for their students (opposed to P.S.U’s 70% retention rates). They understand the need for students to be engaged in a community or group on campus to combat retention issues.
In 2010 Men started to gather in P.S.U’s Multicultural Center. They discussed school, work, family, relationships, politics, and became a family that helped each-other even outside of the group and campus. Realizing their common thread, and the lack of retention for all men of color they decided to sustain this group and housed it in Diversity and Multicultural Student Services for institutional support.
Men of Color was created to unite diverse populations, and build a thriving multicultural community, as well as provide space for men of color to analyze and change the institutional barriers they face. The goal is for everyone involved to attain a degree, employment and professional experience. All who are interested in this type of community are welcome.
We portray positive images of Men of Color through Action, Education, Organization and Networking (AEON). We are active in building community and increasing retention of underserved populations at P.S.U. We do this by providing leadership development of members so they have tools to support themselves and other community members, advocacy work so all members feel they have a purpose, as well as various D.M.S.S services like advising, advocacy, computer lab, book and calculator check-out, and academic support, navigating the campus and guidance for scholarship and internship searches.
AEON [ee-un, ee-on] - “Built to last until our purpose is fulfilled”.