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Malachi Goodman reaches for greatness

The Mizzou Black Men's Initiative alumnus makes his presence known on campus

Story and photo by Sarah Sabatke
Published March 17, 2017

Malachi Goodman sits on the steps of the Reynolds Journalism Institute

Junior Malachi Goodman is a Trulaske College of Business ambassador and Alpha Phi Alpha philanthropy chair.

Junior Malachi Goodman has a passion for helping others. When he first arrived at MU from his hometown of Chicago, though, it was the mentorship through the Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative (MBMI) that helped Goodman to break out of his shell.

“Being surrounded by other black men who were considered my mentors, that was a first for me too, because I grew up in a single-parent home,” said Goodman. “I didn’t really have that many black, male mentors at my disposal.”

MBMI is a leadership development program designed to help young, black men transition successfully to college life by providing them with a support system and teaching leadership skills.

When he started the program, Goodman says he would “stand back in discussions” and not really speak out. That is, until one of his teaching assistants changed his mind.

“[The teaching assistant] was saying, like, being in a room, you gotta make your presence known,” said Goodman. “If you claim you've got certain things going for you, you should be able to speak those things, give life to those things because … you could inspire someone else or your story could be something that someone else relates to.”

Goodman has done just that on MU’s campus. A business major, he currently works as an ambassador for the MU Trulaske College of Business, interacting with prospective students through career fairs and presentations throughout the semester.

Goodman is also involved with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and now serves as its philanthropy chair. Through this role, he continues to act on his passion for community service. The fraternity has also given him another family on campus.

“[Just] like the brotherhood is strong in MBMI, the brotherhood is [also] strong in my fraternity,” said Goodman. “And then, to surround yourself with people who inspire you and who are great, it makes you work harder … We just always push each other, even if we don’t know it.”

Goodman continues to surrounded himself with individuals who inspire him and push him towards success. He says that was one thing from his experience with MBMI that helped him to expand his campus involvement later on.

The Mizzou Black Men's Initiative “was something that inspired me just to want greater and to be greater,” he said.

Through his involvement, both academically and socially, Goodman has learned to own his experiences and to follow his passions — he encourages other students to do the same.

“Nobody else has experiences like you. And so, when you’re somewhere and you don’t share your experiences, you’re almost taking from the situation,” he said. “You can put your unique characteristic into a situation [and] even though … no one is exactly the same, there’s always somebody that can relate.”

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail:

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Last updated: Aug. 7, 2017