Black Thriving Initiative

The Frameworks that Guide Us

The Frameworks that Guide Us

"Learning is a process where knowledge is presented to us, then shaped through understanding, discussion, and reflection." -Paulo Freire


The Black Thriving Initiative is centered on the following principles:

  • Racial human hierarchy is a persistent societal belief that has caused immeasurable human suffering. This belief must be eliminated.
  • High expectations, financial and personal investment, and accountability must be in place and prioritized.
  • Curricular and co-curricular mapping and integration must be considered to avoid duplication, identify gaps in service, and ensure procedural efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion growth and development opportunities must be provided to students, staff, and faculty.

We are fully committed to:

  • Addressing the systemic conditions that create injustice
  • Advancing racial justice, racial healing, and pro-Blackness
  • Holding ourselves and others accountable
  • Considering ideas that previously seemed impossible and taking risks
  • Ensuring Cal Poly Pomona is a place where Black students, staff, and faculty can thrive

Four Agreements of Courageous Conversations

Stay Engaged
Expect and Experience Discomfort
Speak Your Truth
Expect and Accept Non-Closure


The framework inverts questions that are commonly asked about educational disadvantage, underrepresentation, insufficient preparation, academic underperformance, disengagement, and Black male student attrition.


  • Navigating the educational matrix
  • Sense of belonging
  • Perceptions of (lack of) institutional support
  • Living and learning at the margins while combating stereotypes
  • Need for counterspaces and counternarratives
(Banks, 2009Chambers & Sharpe, 2012Commodore et al., 2018Patton & Croom, 2017Patton, Crenshaw et al., 2016Patton et al., 2018Winkle-Wagner, 2008). Examinations of, with, and alongside Black women have consisted of their identity intersections (Hannon et al., 2016McGuire et al., 2016Patton & McClure, 2009Porter & Dean, 2015Porter et al., 2020), academic development and success (Jackson, 2013McPherson, 2017Porter et al., 2018Russell & Russell, 2015), and career development (Storlie et al., 2018).