MMA redefines masculinity

The Multicultural Men’s Association gave its members some food for thought during their meeting on Thursday, as they discussed topics on male privilege and shared perspectives on problems seen in society that are prevalent to men of color.
This is the first full year of MMA being an on campus group, as it made its first appearance back in September of 2015. Michael Rogers, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Student Life, started the group around the same time that he began his employment at Augustana.
“Augustana is a predominately white institution, and there aren’t a lot of spaces where men of color can intentionally have a get together,” Rogers said.
Rogers mentioned statistics that showed how men of color are graduating at a lesser rate. According to data from U.S. Department of Education for 2015, males on average make up 44 percent of enrollment in post secondary institutions, compared to females, who make up 56 percent.
Junior Avery Pearl has been to a couple of meetings in the past, but this is the first year that he has fully become involved, as he talked to Rogers over the summer of playing a bigger role in the group.
The topic of discussion for the year is re-defining masculinity, but in light of recent events they asked the question on what does it mean to be a man, and looked at the political and social advantages that men experience on a daily basis.
“What we’re going to talk about tonight is male privilege and we’re going to talk about how the clowns on campus essentially made men feel like women do when they walk around campus at night,” Pearl said.
The group is a place to have healthy discussions that Pearl believes are essential to have when there a lot of polarized views constantly clashing, and how having groups such as this one helps bridge the gap of ideologies and come together as one.
“I hope in the future there will be a lot of voices at the table to have more conversations and get more engagement from men of color, ” Rogers said.
For more information on the group and its meeting times, contact Michael Rogers and visit the OMSL office.