"What They See Is What They'll Be"

News from the 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc.

March 2016
The Achievement Gap
The Attendance Gap
The Survival Gap

By the Madison Metropolitan School Districts' definition of chronic absenteeism, during the 2014 - 2015 School year, 38% of all African American students were recorded as chronically absent.

Chronic Absenteeism is defined as missing about 18 days during the course of the school year which materializes at 10% of the 180 day school year.

The average, chronically absent African-American student during the 2014-15 (which represents 38% of African American enrolled students) missed approximately 37 days or 20% of the school year.
The average African-American Madison Public School student attends school 6.2 fewer days than the average student in MMSD. The average White student attends school 2.4 more days than average of all MMSD.
This means that the attendance gap between White and African-American students corresponds to about nine days of instruction during the year.
Hence, as we enter into discussions of "Academic Achievement Gaps," possibly, we should first address the question of "Student Attendance Gaps" and why they occur.
The predicate or preamble of the dialog about the appropriate actions of education is to first insure that students are in school so that vital educational activities could be performed and appropriately measured.
It's pretty hard to instruct a child who is not at school.
Chronic absenteeism serves as an important indicator, "an early warning sign" that something is wrong. Often, it predicts that a student is at risk for school failure and leaving school before graduation.

The question arises, is this a situation in which the student is exercising his or her discretion to attend or not attend school or are there deeper more visceral issues?

Today, more than 50% of all students who attend Madison Public Schools receive free and reduced lunches, which means that those students are from families at or below the federal poverty level.

And to qualify ... a family of four has to have an income of $29,000 or less.

Currently, more than 70% of all African American students enrolled in the Madison Public School System receive free or reduced lunches.

There is a correlation.
  • The majority of African American children live in poverty.
  • The majority of African American children have inadequate housing.
  • The majority of African American children have poor or nonexistent healthcare.
  • For the majority of African American children, their only meal may be what they receive at school.
  • Far too many African American children spend the majority of their day trying to figure out how to raise, feed and protect their siblings.

Absenteeism is not the problem but the symptom of the problem.


As Maslow ascribed in 1943 and again in 1954, unless basic physical requirements of human survival (food, shelter, safety, etc.) are met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.


Many African American children do not have trouble learning as much as they have trouble living.

Project SOAR
Student Opportunities, Access and Readiness
The target population of Project SOAR is African American male students, ages 12 -17, enrolled in either a middle school or high school of the Madison Public School District. The Madison Project SOAR will incorporate and serve students who are economically disadvantaged, from single parent homes, homeless, involved in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system and other African American students who can benefit from the Project offerings.

Those interested in participating in the SOAR Project, should access the following:

SOAR One-to-One Mentoring Registration,  Click Here.

SOAR Career Academy Instructor Information & Registration,  Click Here .
SOAR Success Academy Instructor Information & Registration,  Click Here .

19 March
100 Black Men of Madison General Membership Meeting
The next General Membership Meeting of the 100 Black Men of Madison will be held 19 March 2016, 8:00-10:00 a.m. at the  Bonefish Grill  (7345 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53711).

Please note, this event is restricted to 100 Black Men of Madison Members and invited guests.

Our Keynote Speaker will be United States Senator, Ron Johnson.

African American History Challenge Bowl
2 April 2016

The 2016 African American History Challenge Bowl will be held Saturday, 2 April at the Doyle Administration Building of the Madison Metropolitan School District.

The 100 Black Men of Madison African American History Challenge Bowl (AAHCB) is an educational program designed to enhance the appreciation and study of African American history. The AAHCB is open to all Madison Metropolitan School District Middle School Students with the goal of encouraging pride, self-worth and an appreciation of the African American legacy and culture.
The AAHCB is also a challenging and fun way for students to expand their knowledge of African American History in highly competitive local and national competitions.

Election Day
5 April 2016



The Mission of the 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.


100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. seeks to serve as a beacon of leadership by utilizing our diverse talents to create environments where our children are motivated to achieve, and to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the communities we serve.



100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. is committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African American community based on the following precepts: respect for family, spirituality, justice, and integrity.



100 Black Men of Madison, Inc.
P.O. Box 787
Madison, WI 53701
E-Mail | Website

Now Accepting Articles & Photos
We are currently accepting stories and photographs for future issues of "What They See Is What They Will Be."  Please submit your stories and event photos for consideration.  Submission does not guarantee placement in this publication.
Stories should be 200 words or less and electronic photos should be 300 DPI or better in .JPG format (NO SCANNED PHOTOS).  Include captions for each photo (who, what, when, and where).  Photos without captions WILL NOT be considered. 
Submit your stories and photos (with captions) to president@100blackmenmadison.com.