Garry A. Mendez Jr. Ph.D.,'58, P'96, L.H.D.'18

Author; Public Scholar; Community Activist


Using culture and value-based leadership, Garry Mendez Jr. Ph.D. has been addressing the issues confronting African-American families and communities for more than 40 years. He was a National Institute of Justice Fellow and developed the Crime Prevention programs for the National Urban League. In 1989, he founded the National Trust for the Development of African American Men, committed to "restoring the values, dignity and vibrant culture in African American communities." He is currently the Trust's executive director.

Funded by foundations, government grants and private donations, the Trust is building a coalition of groups around the country to provide mentors and counselors for incarcerated men and their families. The Trust philosophy is that to truly repay their debts to society, prisoners must start with repairing their own lives, supporting their families and serving their communities. Men who participate in Mendez's classes are expected to become messengers of the Trust's value-based leadership philosophy in and out of prison.

Mendez's efforts are concentrated in New York City, Tampa, Fla., and the East Bay area in California - all regions with high prison populations. Even while he serves as a clinical associate professor at Stony Brook Manhattan, Mendez hopes to expand the Trust's reach to Texas soon.

Mendez received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and his M.A. from the Bank Street College of Education. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Hobart, where he lettered in football and basketball, was recognized for his success as "Little All-American" and became a member of the Hobart Statesmen Hall of Fame. He received the Hobart Medal of Excellence in 1996.