INSTITUTE TITLE: The African American Marriage Enrichment Program (AAME):
How to Make Your Good Thing Better

"If you want to be an engineer, doctor, accountant, etc., there are schools for
that; but if you want to be a mother, father, husband, or wife there are few,
if any schools. The importance of child rearing and marriage is left to
guesswork, trial and error, and whatever you picked from your parents"
(Jawanza Kunjufu, 1984).

The African American Marriage Enrichment Program (AAME):
How to Make Your Good Thing Better is a research based, ethnic and gender-
sensitive, marriage enrichment curriculum. The 8-week, cognitive-behavioral
curriculum was developed in a community-based research project, with direct
input from African American couples, service providers, and leaders of the
faith community. It teaches and guides participants to change their thinking
and behavior according to what we know works for African American couples to
have a “good thing”.

Participants, including clergy couples and fragile family couples, have ranged
from low-upper middle income, ages 18-50, with and without children. About half
were married and the other half cohabiting. It is designed to be the first step
in a comprehensive family life education series that should also include other
family life education offerings such as communications training, sexuality
education, time management, financial management and planning and parenting
education. In fact, the second curriculum in the series is the African American
Parent Training Program (AAPT).

The curriculum is popular with women and men
, but men especially appreciate
the “nuts and bolts” approach to “breaking down” the attitudes and behaviors
needed to have the “good things” they dream of. Come, learn to take the
curriculum to your faith-based or community-based organization to help
couples “make their good things better.”

The institute will cover:
- Introduction to the curriculum and Instructor’s Manual
- How to teach the Program in your local community.
- Demonstration and Role-Play of Each Week’s Lesson
- Pre-Screening Assessment of Individual and Couple Functioning
- Roadmap to a relationship wreck

Disappointment and Distress Among African Americans
- Effects Of Racism On African American “Good Things”
- Being Male or Female in An African American “Good Thing”
- Conflict Resolution, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
- Making New Commitments or Re-Commitments for A Really “Good Thing”
- The Marriage, Commitment or Re-Commitment Ceremony
- Re-Assessment of Individual and Couple Functioning
- Outcome research. Does it work? Do participants like it?
- How to implement the Program in your community
- Continuing education and consultation: Striving for excellence in teaching

You Will Learn:
- How to teach the program in your local community.
- How to develop the necessary community supports for the program's success.

Learning Objectives:
- Beginning skills in teaching the curriculum materials to implement the program
in your local community to lead couples to create and sustain the stable AND satisfying marriages they
dream of.
- Develop a continuing education and consultation plan for excellence in
teaching the Program to couples in your local community.

Participants Will Receive the Following Materials:
- Instructor’s Manual with detailed lesson plans, homework assignments and
reviews, as well as logistics for implementing the classes each week.
- PowerPoint presentations for each week's lesson in computer diskette or CD
- Microsoft Publisher files for the participant recruitment brochure and
participant materials.

Certificate of Completion:
Participants will receive a certificate of the first step in competence to
teach the African American Marriage Enrichment Program curriculum to couples in their
community and may begin teaching the course. However, you must complete the
entire institute to receive the teaching materials and certificate.

For more information:
Lorraine C. Blackman, PhD, LCSW, CFLE
317- 274-6713

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