Men of Vision Building Connections Across Otterbein’s Campus, Central Ohio

Posted Feb 18, 2022

President of the Otterbein University student organization Men of Vision Elijah McCutcheon ’22 is all about making connections to support diversity and inclusion for the common good. 

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Elijah McCutcheon ’22

“We want to bring organizations together in order to better support our students,” McCutcheon said. “Whether it’s events, partnerships, or working with administrators, we’re here to make sure Black students get engaged with their community.” 

Founded in 2006, Men of Vision formed around the idea that a gap existed for men of color at Otterbein. Resources were being under-utilized and a serious lack of Black males in leadership roles illustrated how disconnected that community was feeling.  

James Prysock ’09, MBA ’19, now the executive director of the Office of Social Justice and Activism, was a founding member of the group as a student. He says that Men of Vision serves a major role today — as it did when founded. 

“The work that Men of Vision does is vital to our campus. They have a strong focus on scholarship, leadership, career navigation, and exploration. These are great focal points as students navigate college and look to build healthy relationships,” Prysock said. 

After the pandemic began, Men of Vision shifted their direction to increase engagement with students. They have been making a significant push for Black history Month, says McCutcheon. Early in February, they had several meetings with another Black student organization, Sisters United, on how to pool efforts to expand each group’s impact on the community. Throughout the month of February, the groups will host a karaoke party in the Campus Center, Pancakes and PJs at the House of Black Culture, and other informal hangouts to encourage membership.  

One significant project Men of Vision is focused on now is founding the Intercity Coalition. This unique group will bring together central Ohio men of color from other universities including Capital, Denison, Ohio Dominican, Ohio Wesleyan, and hopefully more in the future. McCutcheon says that this intercollegiate group hopes to increase retention of Black students, males in particularly. 

“Currently, Black males are leaving higher education at a higher rate than any other population. None of our institutions can say we are diverse with these students leaving after only one year on campus. With Intercity Coalition, we aim to facilitate connections between resources and support offices immediately so they can flourish and stay enrolled.”