State of Black Men Symposium



Dr. Carl Cunningham Jr. shares his past and helps others who might be going through the same situation during his “State of Black Men” talk on Sept. 22 in the Gardner Hall Auditorium.

Zarke Yates, News Writer

Carl Cunningham Jr., director of TRIO Student Support Services at Coastal Alabama Community College, visited Wayne State College Sept. 22. 

Cunningham, a Mobile, Alabama native, received his undergraduate degree from Jackson State University in urban studies, master’s in geography and doctorate in higher education administration.  

He spent 12 years at the University of South Alabama serving as the director of multicultural student affairs. He focuses on helping the youth grow into the successful adults he knows they can become.  

Cunningham uses his experience and knowledge to help the youth with expectations, practices for mentoring and positive male mentoring. He also teaches youth about presentation with first impressions, manners and etiquette, and social dining etiquette. 

“Walk into your royalty and not into your comfort, comfort is when you get stuck always look through the lens of royalty,” Cunningham said. “You have the power to paint the picture you want for yourself, have that self-love and self-pride.” 

 Cunningham has made a great impact on the youth with himself seeing over 300 students that he mentored succeed in their young adult lives. 

“I think it’s important to have programming that centers the diversity of the working world and the ways students can navigate professionalism once they graduate,” Edi Hernandez, the international and multicultural program coordinator, said. “We can help them hone those skills as they navigate their academics.” 

Cunningham is a current and active member of Kappa Alpha Psi. He serves as the Guide Right/Mobile Kappa League director for the Mobile Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. 

While serving with the Kappa League program, Cunningham has been able to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Open Society, National Association of College Admissions Counselors, Department of Education, America’s Promise, Leadership Sustainability Institute for Black Male Achievement and Hobsons, Inc. 

He is also known as “Dr. Setitoff,” a name that was given to him by his friend and actress Mara Hall, said because of his leadership role and style. With social media’s continued growth, he said it makes a great user handle. 

He is the author of “A Kut Above,” his book on the importance of positive male mentoring, which focuses on what it means to be the positive male role model for youth.