UMI's Frequently Asked Questions

UMI's Frequently Asked Questions

What is UMI, anyway? 

The Urban Male Initiative (UMI) is a program that provides social, personal, academic, and professional support for all John Jay students – specifically African American and Latino men. UMI’s goals include increasing retention and graduation rates among these student populations while fostering a meaningful college experience. All of our programs and activities are open to all students, faculty, and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin, or other characteristics.

Urban Male Initiative graduates in academic regalia

Why should I consider joining UMI? 

As a member of the Urban Male Initiative, you will benefit from the expertise and knowledge of our Peer Advocates. Our upperclassmen have a wide range of experience and knowledge, both at John Jay and beyond. Peer Advocates can assist you with the following but not limited to:

Choosing classes to be individually tailored to your interests

Offer insights regarding college and career opportunities

Put you in touch with appropriate people and resources to navigate challenges.

The UMI team host events and activities for our students year-round. We also partner regularly with other student groups and organizations on and off campus, so you’ll have access to a variety of opportunities throughout the John Jay community.

I would like to receive Peer Tutoring? How can I receive assistance?

As a member of UMI, you can benefit from having a peer tutor or becoming one of UMI's Peer Tutors who have access to academic resources and can assist with becoming an advanced learner.

I identify as a woman. Can I still join UMI?

Of course! The Urban Male Initiative welcomes all students, faculty, and staff who would like to be a part of the program.

Urban Male Initiative on the Jay Walk

This sounds great! How do I become part of UMI?

If you’re interested in becoming a mentee in the UMI program, please APPLY HERE.

What do Peer Advocates do? How can I apply to become a Peer Advocate?

Peer Advocates are your guide to success!

Peer Advocates are important members of the UMI team and provide support throughout the academic year with the goal of helping students achieve deeper self-knowledge and improved self-esteem in social, academic, and professional settings. 

As compensation, Peer Advocates receive $1000 for the academic year ($500 paid at the end of each semester).

Want to become a Peer Advocate?


Urban Male Initiative in the hallway

I want to learn more! Where can I find UMI?

We welcome visitors!

UMI is located on the L-level of the New Building at 524 West 59th Street. We have two spaces:

UMI Learning Lab – located in room L.73.01

UMI Student Lounge – located in room L.74.02

We are also available to answer questions or provide further information via email at, or by phone at 646-557-4557.