The ROSE Empowerment Group’s mission is to establish sustainability in communities through group economics, building healthy relationships, and seeking value in local resources and networks.

Meet the Founder

Justin Black is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where he studied public relations and African studies. He started Rising Over Societal Expectations (ROSE) Empowerment Group with a vision to close the information gap for today’s generation of Black and Brown young adults after his experiences as a Black male in the foster care system. He’s created youth conferences and workshops to teach methods of economic sustainability, principles of healthy relationships, and collective impact.

He is committed to serving as a positive example to other youth who are seeking ways to better themselves through character development, resiliency, and support. That is why he created the ROSE Model to show youth the effect they can have on their local and global communities by understanding the power in themselves and their communities. 

Justin studied urban and community development as well as political and economic philosophy in countries such as South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Before starting the ROSE Empowerment Group, Justin created the Global Challenges for a Global Society study abroad to Rwanda and Uganda focusing on strategies of economic and community development. Prior to traveling to Rwanda and Uganda, Justin worked at the National Black Child Development Institute in Silver Springs, Maryland developing policy recommendations for Black youth within various states of the country.

He’s presented at numerous conferences including the student keynote speaker at the Nsoro foundation’s 2020 Starfish Ball, helping to raise over $1,000,000 in scholarship funding for foster youth around the country. He was awarded the prestigious Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for his time in South Korea as well as the Yvonne Unrau Innovation award from Western Michigan University’s Seita Scholars program.

Justin is also the current Communications Director for The Scholarship Expert to ​help scholars find the funding and opportunities to maximize their college experience while utilizing their financial resources and network.

A CGI U Commitment-Maker is a student who has demonstrated a clear passion for change and has developed a Commitment to Action that is new, specific, and measurable in one of CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, or Public Health. Commitment-Makers are part of a growing community of leaders on college campuses around the world who are turning their ideas into action.