NAACP honors KSU official for supporting African−American males

The leader of a statewide initiative to increase educational opportunities for Georgia’s…

Georgia (Nov 5, 2007) — NAACP honors KSU official for supporting African-American males

Jeremy Craig


Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (Nov. 5‚ 2007) — The leader of a statewide initiative to increase educational opportunities for Georgia’s African−American males was honored last week by the Cobb County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The local NAACP chapter bestowed the Education Award upon Arlethia Perry−Johnson‚ special assistant to the president for external affairs at Kennesaw State University and project director of the University System of Georgia’s African−American Male Initiative (AAMI)‚ during the chapter’s Freedom Fund Awards Banquet on Friday‚ Nov. 2.

The AAMI‚ an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia‚ is now based at Kennesaw State. The five−year old project is aimed at increasing the number of African−American males enrolled in the state of Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities. The goal of the program is to increase the recruitment‚ retention and graduation of young black men within the University System of Georgia‚ through strategies that reach black males at both K−12 and higher education levels.

Since the program was launched five years ago‚ the enrollment of black males in the University System has increased by almost 16 percent‚ from 17‚068 in fall 2002 to 19‚780 in fall 2006.

In 2001‚ the University System of Georgia identified a 2−to−1 enrollment disparity between black women and black men within the USG. In fall 2002‚ there were 35‚873 black females‚ compared to 17‚068 black males enrolled in the system.

The AAMI will host a statewide best−practices conference Nov. 30−Dec. 1 at KSU to showcase successful and effective strategies used at the state and national levels to accomplish program goals. About 250 attendees are expected to attend.

As special assistant to KSU President Daniel S. Papp‚ Perry−Johnson is responsible for the administration of the university’s external affairs activities‚ including oversight of the University Relations department‚ as well as legislative and community affairs.

Prior to her arrival at KSU in October 2006‚ Perry−Johnson served as associate vice chancellor for media and publications for the Board of Regents‚ where she was the University System’s chief communications officer for nearly 12 years. Her role as AAMI project director followed her and President Papp — who also has been involved with the program since its inception — to KSU.

Perry Johnson’s additional past appointments include key communications posts as director of university relations at Penn State Great Valley‚ in Malvern‚ Pa.; director of media and external relations at Rutgers University‚ in New Brunswick‚ NJ; manager of national media relations for the Tennessee Valley Authority‚ in Knoxville‚ Tenn.; and executive director of the news bureau at Virginia Commonwealth University‚ in Richmond‚ Va.


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More about the University System of Georgia’s African−American Male Initiative is available on page 29 of the Fall/Winter 2007 edition of the Kennesaw State University Magazine‚ located online at:

A full biography of Perry−Johnson‚ with a downloadable photograph suitable for publication‚ also is available online at


A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit