Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group

Open to all HFC students, the Focus Group engages with the experiences of Black women and men worldwide while building leadership skills.

The Black Male and QUEENS (Quintessential Unique Essence of Ebony Necessary Sisters) Focus Group challenges and changes the accepted narrative regarding Black academic success.

We operate from a position of collective strength, rather than a deficit, to address the role, obligations, and necessity of Black manhood and womanhood in the academy and beyond. We are models of excellence who defy, critique, and improve prevailing images of Black men and women in the academy and throughout the world.

We provide an atmosphere where students are comfortable, and through strength, can learn to deal with discomfort. We expose them to opportunities within and outside HFC to help them academically and professionally. We help students navigate HFC and connect them with campus resources.

How can I get involved?

We host regular events on campus, and we invite all Black students to consider participating in the Focus Group. Meetings are open to anyone. Contact us for more information.

Meeting schedule and information

Recent News

What resources are available to me?

  • Regular weekly meetings (as noted above)
  • Study tables during midterms and finals week each Fall and Winter semester
  • Multiple campus visits to four-year institutions including University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Ohio University, and more
  • Multiple events and activities throughout the year
  • Broad support network of peers, alumni, and friends of the BMQFG
  • Personal and basic needs support (contact BMQFG advisors for assistance)

The Focus Group exists to help advise and support HFC students. While some of our specific resources are listed below, we encourage students to contact the faculty advisors and communicate your needs or concerns of any nature.

Focus Group Office (Study and Collaborate)

The Focus Group office is available for students to come and study or use the resources available. We offer two computers and a printer for student use, as well as brochures and handouts from four-year institutions within and outside of Michigan.

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Focus Group Food Pantry

The Focus Group Food Pantry is available for any HFC student during the hours the Focus Group Office is open. We have a variety of non-perishable food items and toiletries available for any student in need. This is an additional support for students who may be unable to use the HFC Hawks’ Nest or off-campus resources.

There are no rules or requirements to use the Focus Group Food Pantry. We simply ask that students be mindful of their peers who may also need food or items.

The Focus Group Food Pantry is located inside the Focus Group office, and is available during our hours of operation.

Workshops and Lectures

The Focus Group offers workshops and lectures presented by HFC faculty and staff and invited guests. These serve to educate and provide examples, as Focus Group students are encouraged to develop their own presentation skills. Below is a sample of topics from recent semesters:

  • The History of Kwanzaa
  • College Success
  • History of Jim Crow
  • Sociological Assessment of Racism in Sports
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Critical Autoethnography
  • The Normalcy of Racism
  • Racial Microaggressions in the Academy
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Critical Autoethnography)
  • College Preparation and Success
  • Practical Community Engagement
  • Introduction to Kawaida Philosophy

Black History Month 2021 event recordings

Introductory lecture: Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell

Dr. Harvell introduces Black History Month with his lecture, "The History of Black History Month: Challenging Misconceptions, Corrections/Reflections on Doing for Self!"



Kwanzaa Art Show

HFC student Alanna Grace-Marie Schwartz presents her Kwanzaa Art Show, a reflection of learning about her heritage and this important holiday season.



Black History Month lecture: Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell

Dr. Harvell presents, "Space, Race and the Case of Black Wall Street: Importance of a 2021 Interrogation."



The Global Black Experience

HFC student Dia Camara presents, "Historic Figures of the African Diaspora," a tale of two important historic figures and the difference they made in world history. Feb. 24, 2021. Introduced by Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell.

2021 Black Male Retention: Best Practices and Student Success Conference and Recordings

The second annual Black Male Retention: Best Practices and Student Success Conference took place April 13-16, 2021 via Zoom. Participants from more than 87 schools nationally participated in this action-focused, in-depth examination of some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Complete information about the conference is here, including theme, sessions, speakers, and more. Session videos are below.

Our thanks to all who presented and all who participated! We look forward to the third annual conference in 2022!

April 13, 2021 Session A: Nia - “Elevate, do not destroy: Your loss will be someone else’s gain”

Session Presenter:
Shanna Simpson-Singleton (Wayne State University, Center for Equity and Excellence in Mathematics, Student Support Coordinator, Coordinator of the BMQFG - HFC)


April 14, 2021 Session A: Umoja: Conference Opening and “From the student to the teacher: A Black Man’s Experience in Higher Education”

Session Presenter:
Chardin Claybourne (Henry Ford College: Faculty, Learning Lab; Coordinator of the BMQFG)


April 14, 2021 Session B: Ujima: “Assuring Success and Nurturing Greatness at Henry Ford College (Part 1)”

Session Presenters:
Chardin Claybourne (Faculty Learning Lab & Coordinator of the BMQFG - HFC)
Cassandra Fluker (Director of Student Services – HFC)
Dr. Adam Hazlett (Honors Director – HFC)
Dr. Anthony Perry (Director of the Democracy Institute Consortium and Political Science Instructor – HFC)


April 14, 2021 Session C: Kujichagulia; 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. - “Remembering whose shoulders you stand on and envisioning those who will be standing on yours!”

Session Presenter:
Harriet Moore (Sociologist)


Bonus presentation: 2019 Black Male Retention and Best Practices Conference

Sankofa: Reflecting, Connecting, and Recommendations: College Success as Our Responsibility to the Collective

Presenter: Barbara L. Jones, Wayne State University

2021: The Excellence of the Black Woman Conference

The Excellence of the Black Woman Conference is scheduled for November 11 and 12, 2021, via Zoom. This conference is sponsored by the Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group and supported by Henry Ford College.

The conference is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is Dr. Kenja R. McCray.

Complete information about the conference, including a registration link, is here.

Focus Group Advisors

Contact Us

Chardin Claybourne, Faculty Director, HFC Learning Lab

Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator, Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group

Dr. Courtney Aleise Matthews, English Professor and BMQFG Advisor