CWU News

Student African American Brotherhood Seeks to Create First Pacific Northwest Chapter At CWU

Young men of color face unique challenges, and without support and mentorship, can face insurmountable obstacles.

The Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) is a national organization designed to guide such young men towards a successful future. SAAB founder and Chief Executive Officer Tyrone Bledsoe will visit CWU on April 15, and April 16, to discuss the potential for a local chapter. CWU would be the first campus in the Pacific Northwest with a SAAB Brother To Brother chapter, and one of only three on the West Coast.

“SAAB is an initiative to increase the number of African American and Latino males that graduate from college,” said Bledsoe. “A lot of these young men come from broken homes, they have been let down too many times in their lives. Once they’re in SAAB, they find a reason to commit, to be successful.”

Bledsoe will provide an open forum at 3:00 p.m., April 15, in the Student Union and Recreation Center, room 301. He will present the history, purpose, and mission of SAAB, and highlight the success rate of the Brother To Brother model. On April 16, Bledsoe will offer an interactive, hands-on workshop from 1:30-5 in SURC 201 for all students interested in SAAB membership.

CWU’s Raymond Hall, professor of anthropology, and Keith Champagne, associate dean for Student Development are working alongside Bledsoe to establish the CWU chapter of SAAB.

“We want to set the example,” said Champagne. “Our goal is to make CWU the destination for men of color who are looking to gain an education and are focused on achievement in life beyond Central. If you want to be successful academically, come to Central. We have resources in place to help you, but we also have this organization that will guide you and mentor you. We will do our best to facilitate your success inside as well as outside of the classroom.”

Hall sees the organization as an opportunity to open up a support program on campus for all men of color and diverse ethnicities, providing a path to graduation. Nearly 30 percent of CWU’s 2014 entering class self-identified as minority.

“Dr. Champagne and I both want to provide these young men something that gives them hope for the future,” said Hall. “This is what SAAB does; it gives students hope for the future. Many of the young men who joined 25 years ago are now doctors, lawyers and university presidents. We should be able to take CWU into a future that sees men of color establishing a higher graduation rate because they were a part of this organization.”

SAAB operates through more than 300 chapters where students enjoy social, cultural, and spiritual enrichment. SAAB increases the number of African American and Latino men graduating from college by creating a positive peer community based on a spirit of caring. SAAB membership is open to any student attending an institution that has a registered chapter. For more information, go to .

“It’s a cool thing to be successful academically,” said Champagne. “SAAB gives our young men evidence, where they can see that other young men around the country are succeeding. We’re looking to link Central students with like-minded men around the United States. It’s an environment. It’s a culture of success, of highly achieving men. We’ll be in touch with SAAB advisors who are at Harvard and Yale; it gives us a powerful network of people to connect our students here at Central with.”

For more information contact the Campus Life office at 509-963-1691.

Media Contact: Keith Champagne, CWU Associate Dean for Student Development, 509-963-1515,

Media Contact: Raymond Hall, CWU Associate Professor of Anthropology, 509-963-2491,