August 13, 2019
Thanks to all the incredible men who dedicate their lives to inspiring others to greatness.
August 7, 2019
Without question, when the majority of students in public schools are students of color and only 18 percent of our teachers are teachers of color, we have an urgent need to act. We’ve got to understand that all students benefit from teacher diversity. We have strong evidence that students of color benefit from having teachers and leaders who look like them as role models and also benefit from the classroom dynamics that diversity creates. But it is also important for our white students to see teachers of color in leadership roles in their classrooms and communities. The question for the nation is how do we address this quickly and thoughtfully?
~ U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., speaking at Howard University, March 8, 2016
There are few black male candidates in the education pipeline so the problem noted by Secretary King will not be solved quickly. Black Men Teach is addressing this issue now in a thoughtful, comprehensive manner. Please consider supporting this important work. Click here to invest in our mission.
June 12, 2019
“We are superheroes because we serve as a role model of possibilities for Black boys, present a counter narrative of negative representations of Black males in media, and continually navigate the complex educational and societal systems that often splinter our identities.”
Francis Pina, Black Male Educator
In TEACH PLUS
June 5, 2019
The Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank which focuses on education, just published a new study on the effects of student-teacher race matching, looking at how student outcomes are impacted when they have a teacher that looks like them. The research was conducted in North Carolina by Seth Gershenson, Associate Professor of Public Policy, American University. The full report is here, but we highly recommend you read the forward by Amber Northern and Michael Petrelli.
June 1, 2019
From time to time, Black Men Teach will be sharing testimonials and personal stories from some of our exceptional black male educators in the Twin Cities. We thank Keenan Jones, elementary school teacher in Hopkins, for his honest and inspiring message.
WHY I TEACH – Keenan Jones, Hopkins Public Schools
My grandfathers grew up in an era of discrimination, racism, and segregation in the South and Midwest. They fought for literacy because they knew their fight would benefit generations after. My road to becoming an educator was not easy, especially being a Black man in America. I made it because many individuals from coaches, teachers, and specifically Black men would not allow me to fail.
In 2019, I continue to see the struggle of some of our young Black boys, many going through the same struggles I had in school and society. I feel like it’s my duty to give back and fight in the same way Black men fought for me.
When I see young people coming into the building and smiling, ecstatic about the learning day, it motivates me to know that I can help change the world by delivering a message of dreaming big and determination to these young minds. There is no profession in the world that I feel has more impact on our youth than education. For 6-7 hours a day, we can sculpt minds to think about social justice, critical thinking, science, writing, and most importantly, being a good citizen. As a Black man, I feel like my view of the world has prepared me for this profession of teaching. Prepared me to offer a unique perspective of what you can do when you reach for the stars and dream big. My reward is when my students leave the classroom with a greater sense of self, all because I provide them the space in which to do so.
However, I live with this harsh reality. Often times when I walk in to the building, I have the feeling of, “who is watching me, who doesn’t trust me, what do people think of me?” Many tell me not to feed into that, but it is tough not having colleagues that you can connect with on a personal level. Professionalism teaches you to collaborate with all, but how can you collaborate with those who at times question your intelligence? I will never forget a teacher who once told me, “The only reason students like you is because your tall, athletic, and black.” Those words have stuck with me since they were mumbled in my ears. These microaggressions happen often, but I think back to my family and those men in my family who lived in the civil rights era. Every day, I’m fighting to work harder than the last, to reduce the stereotypes about Black males in education and Black males in society. I accept the challenges that I’m faced with on the day-to-day basis, but at some point I hope that my work will tear down these walls that are up for Black males in America. All for the purpose of making it easier for future young Black male educators.
April 3, 2019 Board members Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed and Darrell Thompson, along with James Ewer from Prodeo Academy, provide testimony to the Minnesota State Senate E-12 Finance and Policy Committee on the benefits of teachers of color.
Click here to view the video of the testimony.