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UWG’s African-American Male Initiative Hosts Motivational Speaker

by Alexandra Taylor

The University of West Georgia’s African-American Male Initiative Program hosted a leadership workshop as a part of a lecture series housed by the university’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. The speaker and presenter of the workshop, Joseph Barnes, is a motivational educator who inspires, encourages and motivates students toward academic excellence.

UWG’s African-American Male Initiative Hosts Motivational SpeakerJoseph is the founder and chief executive officer of Achieving Success International, an Illinois based company that offers mentors’ services for a wide variety of subjects. ASI was created to address the vital need to increase the graduation rate and decrease the drop out rate of college students, improve the first-year college experience and support core values of minority male initiative programs. Joseph aims to help build strong leaders of today and tomorrow by traveling around the country lecturing to young African American male students about such topics.

Joseph’s lecture focused on explaining how every individual is or can become a leader. “Each and every one of you have leadership qualities in your DNA,” he explains. “Some of you are born leaders and some of you have to be taught to be leaders, but it is in your heritage and in your DNA to lead and succeed.”

Joseph continued to highlight and address the importance of using inner strength and courage to take the lead in accomplishing one’s own academic, personal and professional goals. “Barnes is a dynamic speaker,” Stephen Parris, UWG freshman and member of the AAMI says. “He focuses on challenging the way that people think and provides proof in strategies and techniques that deliver immediate results.”

The AAMI is a program and learning community whose purpose is to increase retention, progression and graduation rates of African American male students at University System of Georgia institutions. AAMI at UWG is a learning community, providing orientation programs, mentoring, social and educational programming, Black Men Encouraging Success Today and Black Men With Initiative.

To learn more about the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the AAMI, please visit

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