Training & Educating Men of Black Origin (TEMBO Squad)

In Africa, Tembo is the Swahili word for elephant. Swahili or Kiswahili (known in Swahili itself as Kiswahili) is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique. By studying the social behaviors of African elephants researchers discovered that, among this species, adult males (or bulls) play a pivotal role in the socialization of younger males in the group. Within elephant populations where no bulls were present the younger males, upon reaching puberty, would often display destructive, antisocial, behaviors that jeopardized the well-being of their herds as well as that of other animals in the region.

The African American Male Resource center (AAMRC) selected the elephant as its symbol in order to reinforce and reemphasize the significant role that adult men play in modeling and shaping the attitudes and behaviors of younger males. TEMBO Squad is an organization of Chicago State University’s African American male students, staff, and faculty who are dedicated to bringing about positive social change through the teaching and learning of traditional African values, customs, traditions and practices. This approach is based on the premise that socialization is a key component of proper education. The primary mission of the TEMBO Squad is to overcome negative stereotypes and restore the positive image, perceptions, and  actions of African American males locally, nationally, and globally.

TEMBO Squad membership is open to all male students at Chicago State University who self identify as African American. Students interested in joining the TEMBO Squad must complete a membership application. Active student membership is described as being in good academic standing with the university and having participated in at least three (3) TEMBO Squad events per semester.

After completing the TEMBO Squad application, please save it and e-mail it to outreach_aamrc@csu.edu  or you may print it and bring it to the AAMRC office, located in suite 150 of the Cordell Reed Student Union Building.

Meeting Structure

The TEMBO Squad meets every first week of the month as outlined in the calendar of events. At the end of each month, members will participate in a group function that reinforces the theme of the given month.


General Body Meetings

The General Body meeting is a monthly gathering of all TEMBO Squad members. During each meeting, announcements will be made concerning past and future TEMBO events and the floor will be made open to members who wish to share information, thoughts, or ideas regarding that month’s theme. During these meetings guest speakers, books, films, or panels related to that month’s theme will be presented to the general body; such presentations are followed by an open dialogue and action planning session in which members exchange views on the subject and plan events or activities that relate to it.


TEMBO Outings

There should be a minimum of four TEMBO outings each semester. These outings will enable members to become more familiar with the world outside of their university’s campus. TEMBO outings will fall into the following categories:

    • Educational Outings-TEMBO Squad members will take field trips that are educationally based.
    • Cultural Outings-TEMBO Squad members will visit institutions or participate in events that are specifically oriented toward African or other cultural traditions.
    • Civic Outings-TEMBO Squad members will observe or participate in processes or events related to civic engagement, social justice, or other socio-political activities.
    • Health and Recreational Outings- TEMBO Squad members will attend events and participate in activities that offer recreation, while also reinforcing physical health and fitness (e.g. skating parties, basketball tournaments, walkathon, etc.)
    • Service Outings- TEMBO Squad members will actively participate in events and activities geared towards enhancing the lives of individuals other than themselves.