University of Georgia Institute for Behavioral Research Center for Family Research
ProSAAM :: Program for Strong African American Marriages
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From couples that participated in the Program for Strong African American Marriages (ProSAAM):

“I look forward to finishing up the book we were given in hopes of having a strong marriage. No only for us, but to mirror for my daughters what a strong marriage looks like.” (Married, African American woman)

“My only concern about enrolling in ProSAAM was that the information would be beneficial to women more than men… Boy was I wrong!” (Married, African American man)

“Our ProSAAM experience has been wonderful. We have gained much insight into our relationship with each other. We have re-discovered and gained the courage to address areas where improvement is needed… The staff has been both professional and efficient at each home visit. We always have a happy time before and after chatting with them at a home visit. We look forward to our input being used to help other couples realize that marriage is a wonderful thing but it will talk all you have inside and then some to make it all it can be. Choices have been to made at every juncture to rise about the pettiness and the mundane to have a quality marriage. Thanks ProSAAM for being a part of our journey to a happier and more fulfilling marriage relationship!”  (Married, African American woman)

“It really helped me to broaden my listening skills and it gave me useful information on how to keep an argument from escalating. I would suggest that all African American couples (especially men) take part in this program. I think it would be particularly benefitical to couples who are engaged. It could teach them how to start off with good listening skills and how to give non-critical advice. The program not only helps you be a better husband, it also helps you be a better father and a better man in general.” (Married, African American male)

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Alexander, pastor of Springfield Baptist Church in Athens, speaks from personal experience when he endorses ProSAAM. He has taken part in the educational program with his wife and is a consultant to the program rather than a participant. “I recommend ProSAAM wherever I go,” he said. “I believe the program has much to offer and that it makes a difference in the quality of a relationship.” In particular, Alexander said he encourages men to participate in the program. “It is crucial that more African-American men become involved in ProSAAM,” he said. “Our involvement is ‘mission critical’ to the success of the African American family.” Alexander said he understands that some men fear being viewed as unable to “handle their business” if they participate in forums with other couples, but that he has seen the benefits of ProSAAM in his own marriage. “Because I am a part of the program, I tend to focus more on the need for open and transparent communication in our marriage,” he said. “Through my connection to ProSAAM I find that I am less inclined to withdraw from situations that require intentional participation.”

Elder Terris Thomas of Timothy Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia said, “At Timothy, we are serious about how to enrich the lives of our members through community efforts and programs. We believe ProSAAM helps to strengthen the message that is preached from the pulpit and view involvement in community programs such as ProSAAM as a benefit to our members. This program is not only for couples who are having problems, but the information received in ProSAAM serves as a support to ALL couples. Some of the individuals in this program have been married decades and have spoken of the tremendous impact ProSAAM has had on them as a couple. They are quick to admit that having been together as long as they have, they are still learning.”