What’s New



AUGUST 4 AND 5, 2022

Isolating and Impactful. Two words that equally describe the experience of Black male educators who participated in the conference. 

Celebrating the Half Percent: The Inaugural Black Men Teach Conference brought together 100 Minnesota-based Black male educators for a day and a half of networking, fellowship, and to build a brotherhood of Black male educators. The feeling of joy and excellence filled every inch of the Essence Event Center. Conversations of “Black Joy,” “The need for more Black male educators”, and numerous discussions about the future of education occupied the dialogue. 

Check out the full recap video here

JULY 8, 2022

We know that students who experience a Black male educator are more likely to graduate high school.  We know Black men spend more time mentoring students and spend more time socializing with students, building deeper relationships, and we also know that there is nowhere near enough of us. On Thursday, August 4th and Friday, August 5th, Black Men Teach is hosting Celebrating the Half Percent: The Inaugural Black Men Teach Conference. 

Join us for a day and a half of fellowship, conversation, and brotherhood as we bring together 100 Black male educators. The conference will allow men to network and connect with brothers from all sectors of education. The event will include a special recognition for first-year teachers and empower and equip all of the men there for the 2022 school year and beyond.

Brothers, our children need you, the community needs you, and we need each other. We can’t wait to see you there.
REGISTER HERE for the inaugural Black Men Teach conference, on August 4 and 5, at the Essence Event Center in St. Paul.

MAY 16, 2022

SOLD OUT! BLACK MEN TEACH invites you to attend our GOLD STAR GALA on Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Nicollet Island Pavilion celebrating our mission of increasing the number of Black male teachers in elementary schools across the Twin Cities. Click on EVENTS and GOLD STAR GALA for details and to purchase tickets.

MARCH 15, 2022

Black Men Teach has two job openings – one is for an Impact Director and the other is for an Administrative Operations Manager. If you are interested or if you know someone who would be the perfect person for either of these positions, please apply as detailed in the links.

November 18 was GIVE TO THE MAX DAY!

Black Men Teach THANKS YOU for your donation through Give to the Max this year. We came very close to our goal of $10,000.  Our mission is to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools and we are grateful to you for your support in helping us to accomplish our mission.  

Elementary school kids sitting around teacher in a lesson


FALL NEWSLETTER 2021 (3 of 3)


THE BANK OF AMERICA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION has selected Black Men Teach as one of 100 nonprofit organizations nationwide for its 2021-22 Neighborhood Builders program. The program includes monetary support, leadership development for the executive director and an emerging leader, and participation in a nationwide peer organization.

“WE ARE HONORED to be a participant in this program,” said Markus Flynn, executive director of Black Men Teach. “The grant, the training, and the networking opportunities will greatly enhance our ability to recruit, prepare, place, and retain Black male teachers in our community’s elementary schools.” According to 2019 data, we estimate fewer than 0.5% of Minnesota teachers are Black men.

“WE KNOW that when Black students have a Black man leading their class, they have a better perception of themselves, their math and reading scores improve, they are less likely to have behavioral issues, and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. From the moment a man indicates that he wants to be a teacher, Black Men Teach will help him navigate the process and show him a pathway to success.”

THE GOAL of the Neighborhood Builders program is to help build thriving communities by addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility, including workforce development and education, community development, and basic needs. Since 2004, the network has grown to over 1,300 nonprofit organizations across the country and more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders. The program is the nation’s largest investment in nonprofit leadership development.  Check out the press release here to learn more about the opportunity.

FALL NEWSLETTER 2021 (2 of 3)


AS ANY COLLEGE student or their parent can tell you, meeting the cost of higher education can be a huge challenge. For Black students, this can be not only daunting but sometimes a seemingly impossible task. Given the historical racial wealth gap in the U.S. between white families and people of color, Black families are more likely to have to pay for college with loans. Tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, technology, and other costs add up, leaving the average Black college graduate with nearly $53,000 in loans to pay off compared to about $28,000 for the average white college graduate, according to Brookings Institute research.

ONE WAY that Black Men Teach is addressing this financial obstacle is through a loan forgiveness program. As of October 2021, 4 Black male elementary school teachers have been selected to participate in BMT’s Student Loan Repayment Program bringing the total number of men supported to 12. With support from generous benefactors and General Mills Box Tops for Education program, BMT is now committed to contributing nearly $500,000 over the course of the next few years to forgiving student loan debt.

THE PROSPECT of high student debt upon graduation can lead many students away.  According to one recent survey, over 60% of college students would take a job that they are not passionate about to pay off their student loan debt.

THIS FINANCIAL BARRIER is one of the key reasons that account for the low number of Black teachers in Minnesota. We estimate that less than 0.5% of teachers in Minnesota are Black men according to 2019 data.

YOUR DONATION can help sustain this program so that more Black men are able to pursue an elementary school teaching career. Please join in supporting Black Men Teach with your donation through Give to the Max this year.

FALL NEWSLETTER 2021 (1 of 3)


Please join us in supporting Black Men Teach with your donation through Give to the Max this year. Give to the Max Day began in 2009 when GiveMN.org got its start.  This year, Give to the Max Day is Thursday, November 18, 2021 but you can make your donation early, so don’t delay.

With your support last year, Black Men Teach placed our first three teachers in K-5 classrooms. We have 16 men in teacher training programs, all of whom will be certified and ready to teach between next fall and the fall of 2025. We are also building the high school-to-college pipeline for future teachers through a pilot program at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis that currently has 19 young men enrolled.

Our interim goal is to have teaching staffs of 20% Black men at our eight partner schools. Our long-term goal is to bring fundamental change on how we recruit and prepare Black men and all teachers of color in Minnesota.


To begin the new school year, Black Men Teach partnered with the GENERAL MILLS BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION program and TARGET to celebrate our three placed teachers at Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park with a Back to School BBQ for their students and families. Thanks to the generosity of Target, each of our men received a $500 gift card for school supplies and each of their students received $25 gift cards for school supplies.


The October 27th edition of the PBS NewsHour highlighted the efforts of Black Men Teach to address racial disparities in Minnesota education and we were thrilled to be a part of this program to tell our part of the story.  Featured in this segment is Thetis White, the first of our three Black Men Teach fellows placed at Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park. Below is Thetis being interviewed by the PBS NewsHour.  Check out the first three minutes of the video to see Thetis’s impact.


OCTOBER 22, 2021

Last month, Black Men Teach partnered with Box Tops for Education @btfe to celebrate our newly placed teachers at Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park by starting the school year off with a BBQ for their students and families. Thanks to the generosity of Box Tops and Target, each of our men received a $500 gift card for school supplies and each of their students received a $25 gift card to purchase school supplies.





Black Men Teach is looking for a dynamic, high-energy leader to join our growing organization as a part of our leadership team. The Development Director works collaboratively with team members to establish and execute a plan for significant growth. This position will be directly responsible for successfully creating, leading, and implementing an integrated resource development strategy and developing new relationships, while maintaining existing relationships to build the organization’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.

Click here to view the development director position description and application details.


Black Men Teach is looking for an innovative, and engaging communications manager to lead efforts to engage internal and external stakeholders including potential and active Fellows, mentors, K-12 and Higher Education partners, community leaders and key organizations, legislative and executive branch leaders, and funders of all kinds to make an equitable education a reality for all kids in Minnesota. The communications manager will lead and develop the communication strategies and priorities and be accountable for their effectiveness.

Click here to view the communication manager position description and application details.


AUGUST 26, 2021

Black Men Teach Teams Up with the LeBron James Family Foundation, Box Tops for Education and Walmart

Student loan debt disproportionally affects Black college graduates and is one of the most significant barriers preventing Black men from becoming a teacher.  To Empower Equity in the Twin Cities, the LeBron James Family Foundation, Box Tops for Education and Walmart teamed up with Black Men Teach to surprise two of our first-year teachers with a $50,000 check to alleviate their student loan debt!

July 28, 2021

Black Men Teach Fellowship Program

The Black Men Teach Fellowship program is a multi-year commitment for men aspiring to become elementary school teachers. Black Men Teach is looking to support men throughout their training, during their student teaching internship, and into their careers.  BMT is committed to removing barriers that typically inhibit Black men from becoming elementary school teachers.

As a fellow, you will attend retreats, workshops, and conferences for Black male educators. You will receive a Black educator as a mentor, develop a strong understanding of the importance of Black male teachers, learn about Black historical education movements and pedagogical practices, receive supplemental training that builds your capacity as an educator, and ultimately be a part of a brotherhood of future Black male educators.

Some of the additional benefits of being a Black Men Teach Fellow include:

  • Up to $20k in scholarship
  • Up to $20k in loan forgiveness and/or retention bonuses
  • A brotherhood within a community of prospective Black male educators
  • Access to a mentor in a small group setting
  • Access to emergency funds
  • A stipend during their student teaching
  • Licensure support
  • Academic support


For men to be eligible to become and or maintain their fellowship status, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in an institution of higher education or an alternative pathway to licensure program.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Attend more than half of the college cohort meetings each year
  • Complete at least one summer working for Freedom Schools or another BMT-identified partner summer program.
  • Attend all of the retreats barring any unforeseen circumstance

Use the link below to apply.

(Even if you have been designated as a Black Men Teach Fellow in the past, you must apply to receive the supports listed above.)


The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 31

If you have any questions or need any more information, please feel free to contact Domonick Fields at domonickfields@blackmenteachtc.org


July 19, 2021

Introducing Domonick Fields, Our New Program Director

We are excited to announce that Dominick Fields joined Black Men Teach on July 14 as the Program Director. Domonick has a strong background in public, private, charter school and community organization leadership.  “Domonick’s extensive experience makes him a perfect fit for this new position,” says BMT Executive Director Markus Flynn. “He has the academic training and hands-on leadership in youth development, advising, project management, and serving youth in a variety of organizations that BMT needs at this time in its history.  We are honored to have him join our team.”


July 1, 2021

New Minnesota Budget Includes $35M for Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color

From KARE11 Education News

July 1, 2021

Black Men Teach Welcomes Kevin Idahor to the Board

Kevin is an experienced Talent & Organization leader with Accenture. His expertise spans leading clients through enterprise transformation with a focus on HR Transformation, journey management, and leadership engagement interventions to minimize disruption. Kevin’s passion for education and developing those around him is greatly influenced by his upbringing in Nigeria. Kevin relocated to the Minneapolis area in 2010 and has been involved in organizations such as BestPrep and Big Brothers & Big Sisters. He enjoys cooking, running, and spending time with his family navigating Minnesota fishing lakes.


MAY 4, 2021

Black Men Teach Partners with General Mills Box Tops for Education to Advance Equity in Education

Black Men Teach is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by announcing our partnership with General Mills Box Tops for Education. Over the next four years, Box Tops will provide $500,000 to fund scholarships, loan forgiveness and programming to help with the mission of Black Men Teach which is increasing the number of Black male teachers in Twin Cities classrooms.

“Seeing someone who looks like you leading the classroom has a lot of psychological benefits,” says Markus Flynn, Executive Director of Black Men Teach. “Representation is so important and powerful. Even for those who don’t identify as Black, seeing a Black man in that role helps undermine unconscious bias.”

Box Top’s mission has always been about helping schools get what they need with funding, but they realized there was an opportunity for the platform to do even more.

“We know that inequities in education play a key role in the issue of systemic racism,” says Lilly Moeding, Brand Experience Manager. “That’s why we want to extend our efforts beyond funding to help increase teachers of color starting in our own backyard. That mission is only possible with partner organizations like Black Men Teach.”

Black Men Teach and the Box Tops team recently surprised Mr. White, a deserving 5th grade teacher in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, with a loan forgiveness check for $50,000.


April 30, 2021


Interested candidates should send a cover letter and a resume to Black Men Teach, at info@blackmenteachtc.org, with “Program Director” in the subject line.
Deadline: The job will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received by May 15.

Black Men Teach is looking for a dynamic, high-energy leader to join our growing organization as a part of our leadership team. The Program Director will work closely with the Executive Director to co-create and facilitate programming. The Program Director needs to be an inspirational advocate whose work will create accessible and affordable pathways for Black men to become elementary school educators.
If you or someone you know is interested and qualified, please see the job description and email your cover letter and resume to info@blackmenteachtc.org.


DECEMBER 30, 2020

Meet Markus Flynn, Executive Director of Black Men Teach

Click here to read the interview with MPLS ST PAUL magazine published in the December 28, 2020 edition.


DECEMBER 21, 2020

MPR Story Shines Spotlight on Black Men Teach

We are excited to share a Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) story titled ‘Who you are is valuable’: How Black male teachers in Minnesota are recruiting others to the profession.

This story features people within our organization who did a fantastic job of articulating the mission of Black Men Teach, and shined a spotlight on how we are working toward increasing the number of Black male teachers in the classroom.

We encourage you to give this story a read/listen and share it with others.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the interviews for the story.

Happy Holidays!


December 4, 2020

Black Men Teach welcomes Markus Flynn as its first Executive Director.

Markus Flynn is a former teacher who will lead the charge to increase the number of Black men in the teaching profession in the Twin Cities.


Markus is currently a science teacher at Prodeo Academy in Minneapolis.  He held prior positions in research and project management at Iowa State University.  He is joining Black Men Teach to follow his passion for creating educational opportunities for future Black male teachers.
“One of the most pressing issues facing the State of Minnesota is the disparity in education outcomes for our Black children,” said Flynn.  “The work of Black Men Teach has never been more crucial, so I am eager to join an organization comprised of many talented individuals to cultivate a pipeline of Black men who will inspire, mentor and ultimately increase the success rate for students in our community.”

An active community leader, Flynn is known to Black Men Teach from his volunteer efforts with its College Cohort Program, which recruits Black men to join the teaching profession.  He has served as a volunteer at Raising Readers, mentor for the Connect Program, Board Member of United Way of Story City, President of the Black Graduate Student Association and founder of the Creating the Academic Pipeline Program.

“We are so fortunate to welcome someone with Mr. Flynn’s passion and drive,” said Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Chair, Black Men Teach, and Superintendent of Hopkins Public Schools.  “He is the perfect fit for this role that will be focused on advancing our mission to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools.”


November 9, 2020


Wallin Education Partners and Black Men Teach Join Forces

Shared commitment to support underrepresented students

Minneapolis, MN (November 9, 2020)Black Men Teach (BMT) and Wallin Education Partners announced a new partnership to increase the number of Black men who become teachers in our community. The organizations share a common commitment to expand educational opportunities for underrepresented students. Specifically, this partnership will allow each organization to leverage their expertise to support Black men who pursue a degree in Education and serve as teachers in our community.

BMT creates the environment necessary for Black male teachers to thrive and, through their presence, deliver improved educational success for all students, especially Black male students. BMT brings a network of partners including community-based organizations, teacher training programs, K-12 schools and supporters committed to its mission to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools. Through the execution of a six-year demonstration project, BMT will achieve a 20 percent threshold of Black male teachers within eight schools.

“Investing in Black male teachers makes a significant impact that extends beyond the classroom into our communities, said Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, chair, board of director, Black Men Teach and superintendent, Hopkins Public Schools. “We are grateful for the contributions Wallin Education Partners is making to help put more Black men in the classroom, and we look forward to the windows of opportunity this will open for the students they teach.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Black Men Teach and their innovative program to help identify and assist Black men to become teachers. For years research has indicated the positive benefit of teachers from diverse backgrounds represented in the classroom. Black Men Teach is one of the few organizations that I know of that is singularly committed to this effort,” said Susan Basil King, Executive Director, Wallin Education Partners.

BMT approached Wallin Education Partners to work collaboratively to help them achieve their goal. Both organizations recognize the urgent need in the Twin Cities community for more Black teachers, and both are committed to joining forces as they develop a successful new partnership.

Wallin Education Partners supports nearly 1,200 low-income Minnesota residents who are enrolled in college in the upper Midwest and at HBCUs across the country. Each scholar receives four years of financial aid, individualized advising, a robust program to increase success and a network of professional and social connections. Wallin scholars, who are recruited through 56 high schools, have a six-year graduation rate over 90 percent.


July 21, 2020

Black Men Teach Announces the Search for its First Executive Director

The hiring of our first executive director marks an important milestone in our growth as we seek to create the environment and conditions for Black male teachers to flourish – because our children’s schooling experience will never be complete without them.

Our executive director will work with our partner elementary schools, teacher training programs and community-based organizations to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools.  This entrepreneurial leader will be the face and voice of our mission.  We seek an individual with a background in education who shares our passion for this work and who can help us build on our already strong organizational direction.

BMT has engaged the services of Ballinger – Leafblad, a leader in nonprofit executive search.  For those interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Marcia Ballinger at marcia@ballingerleafblad.com
or 651-341-4840.


June 19, 2020

We at Black Men Teach lift up Juneteenth as Black America’s emancipation day.  We simultaneously acknowledge the systemic racism and racial injustice that continues to harm and oppress America’s Black men.  Black Men Teach seeks to ensure Black men’s intellectual contributions to elementary classrooms and to the building of a racially conscious society by way of teaching children.


June 8, 2020

As the lack of teachers of color has become a significant part of our current racial justice dialogue, Black Men Teach had the opportunity to be showcased as an important part of the solution.  On Friday, June 5th, BMT Board Member Darrell Thompson, shown here marching for racial justice, spoke with Jordana Green on WCCO radio about our work.  Please listen to this 8-minute conversation here.



May 20, 2020

Black Men Teach will erase college debt for six Twin Cities teachers under a unique Student Loan Repayment Program

The journey to becoming a teacher begins at many different places, unique to each who chooses the profession.  But what the pathways have in common is a college education, and more often than not, significant student loans to pay for that education.  Thanks to a generous donation, six Black male educators teaching in Twin Cities district and charter elementary schools will have the burdens of their college debt lifted as they work to spark a love of learning in the students they teach each day.  This strategic effort is part of the mission of Black Men Teach and its Student Loan Repayment Program.

Over the next five years, Black Men Teach will fully repay the existing college loans for Matthew Daniels (Prodeo Academy), Edward Davis (Lucy Laney Elementary, MPS), Markus Flynn (Prodeo Academy), Jessye Lewis (Hiawatha Academy), Sean Sweat (Hope Academy), and Mikaele Tesema (Evergreen Elementary, Anoka-Hennepin).  The repayment program is made possible by the generous support of Former Cargill CEO Greg Page and his wife, Former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Kathleen Blatz, who recognize that Minnesota’s children deserve to have racially diverse teachers who experience classroom success and strong retention.

Edward Davis received his undergraduate degree in therapeutic recreation, but it was his time as a paraprofessional that sparked his interest in teaching as a career.  “After graduation from college, I had the chance to work with elementary students in the Minneapolis Public School System,” said Davis, who teaches at Lucy Laney Elementary School.  “I fell in love with seeing the light bulb go on for these kids when they would begin to grasp a new concept, so I went back to school and got my master’s degree in teaching.”

The loan repayment program is in its first year as Black Men Teach works to develop, place, support and retain Black male elementary educators.  Markus Flynn who teaches at Prodeo says college loans increase anxiety levels for many young teachers.  “I’ve known the number (of his college debt amount), but knowing what this loan repayment program looks like, makes me feel connected to my community and what my life will look like as a teacher,” Flynn said.  “One of the things that draws Black men into the profession is the belief that we have a responsibility to give back.  Because of this gift, I can return the favor to someone else.  That’s what this is about.”

Black Men Teach is keenly focused on ensuring student success by addressing teacher success.  “As stakeholders in our children’s future, it is imperative that we support a clear path for Black men in the classroom,” said Greg Page.

The repayment program repays the entire amount of each of the six teachers’ college loans over five years.  Embedded into this plan is a requirement that each recipient continues his role as an elementary school educator.  “This repayment program provides a lifeline for six talented Black male educators to remain in their elementary classrooms and focus on professional growth.  What’s even more compelling for me as a social justice warrior is that Greg Page and Kathleen Blatz are interrupting the racial wealth gap in our country.  For that, I am grateful,” shared Black Men Teach Board Chair and Hopkins Public School Superintendent Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed.


April 27, 2020

We hope this message finds you well.  We want to give you an update about our program and some of the adjustments we have made due to COVID-19.

FIRST, we are excited to tell you that we have recruited our first cohort of teaching candidates; 8 Black men who are currently in the process of becoming elementary school teachers – AND we have placed our first teacher at one of our partner schools, Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park!

COVID-19, of course, has dramatically altered our school environments, not only for our elementary school students but for our teaching candidates as well.  Not having the opportunity to participate in traditional student teaching or engage in other in-school experiences is having an impact on those in the process of earning their degrees and securing a teaching license.  We have re-focused our work in supporting these candidates, working closely with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board to secure other opportunities for professional growth and licensure.

NEXT UP – Black Men Teach not only assists men on their pathway to become educators, we seek to retain those currently in the field.  One such program will soon be announced broadly to the public:  the Black Men Teach Student Loan Repayment Program.  Due to a tremendous gift by a benefactor, we will be paying off the student loan principal balance of five current Black male elementary school teachers in the Twin Cities area.  Look for the announcement coming soon!


February 26, 2020

Black Men Teach Announces a Student Loan Repayment Program for Current Black Male Elementary School Teachers

As one element in our effort to retain black male educators in our elementary schools, Black Men Teach (BMT) is pleased to offer a student loan repayment assistance program to a limited number of qualified teachers in the Twin Cities area.  BMT will make payments against the selected candidates student loans, up to a total of $40,000 over a five-year period, providing he continues in a teaching or education leadership role in a qualified elementary school during those five years.

This loan repayment program is available to those who:

*Identify as a black male

*Are currently teaching in a Twin Cities (seven-county metropolitan area) elementary school as a teacher of record in the elementary grades K-5 holding a Tier 1, 2, 3 or 4 license.  Paraprofessionals, administrators and non-teaching school employees do not qualify.

*Currently have outstanding student loans associated with acquiring a bachelor’s degree in education of up to $50,000. An exemption may be granted to teachers with debt exceeding $50,000 based upon their response to an additional question in the application.

*Submit an application on or before Friday, March 20, 2020.  Click HERE for the application.

Selection Process
Interested and qualified persons must complete the application and submit it to Black Men Teach by Friday, March 20, 2020, 5:00 PM CST.  Late applications will not be accepted.

BMT will confirm eligibility, including employment verification, and select four applicants for this award by Friday, April 3, 2020. Applicants will be divided into two groups:  those currently teaching in schools and districts partnering with Black Men Teach (listed on the application), and those teaching in all other Twin Cities elementary schools. A minimum of two teachers from partner schools will be selected with others coming from the broader community. Those selected will be notified by email no later than Friday, April 3, 2020.


BMT  is Looking Forward to 2020

Best wishes for a happy and productive 2020 from Black Men Teach!  We want to extend our appreciation to each of you for your support of our mission – to recruit, prepare, place and retain black male teachers in our elementary schools.  Because of your support, we are excited about the possibilities of the new year and will have much to report in the months ahead.

Be on the lookout for the announcement of our first cohort of Black Men Teach Fellows, exceptional men who are now in the process of becoming educators.

For those black male educators who are already in the classroom, we will soon be announcing a student loan repayment program available to a limited number of recipients.  Reducing or eliminating the student debt accumulated while pursuing their degree and licensure will help keep them in the classroom as role models for tomorrow’s leaders.

And April will bring even more news – please stay tuned.  Drop us a note if you wish to become more involved!


December 6, 2019

Does Teacher Race Really Matter?

In fall of 2018, The New Teachers Project (TNTP) published a study, The Opportunity Myth, attempting to answer the question, “How can students be graduating from high school and be unprepared to meet their goals for college and career?”  The question was prompted by data that shows even though high school graduation rates are increasing, a growing number of students need remedial course work before they can begin their college classes.  Among our nation’s black college students, 66% are not fully prepared for college-level course work and need to take at least one remedial class.

The study found that students spend most of their time in school without access to four key resources: grade-level appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement with what they are learning, and teachers who hold high expectations for them.  Teacher expectations demonstrated the strongest relationship to student growth.

Teacher’s race has a significant impact on teacher expectations and student performance.
The TNTP study showed that 66% of teachers who shared their students race or ethnicity held high expectations for their students.  Only 35% of teachers who did not share their students race or ethnicity held high expectations for their students. Additionally, TNTP found that in 38% of classes with high concentrations of students of color, teachers never provided a single grade-level assignment to their students. This reality has serious implications for student achievement in schools with majority students of color and majority white teachers.

We know students respond favorably to high expectations. We know this because when high expectations are clearly communicated and consistently held, students reach them. At the same time, students also respond to low expectations. Spending year after year in classrooms devoid of academic rigor with teachers who do not believe in them results in students being woefully unprepared for their future.

All students benefit by attending schools with a diverse teacher workforce but the benefit is exponential for students of color. Teachers of color understand the lived experience of students of color. Teachers of color also offer added educational value by serving as role models for their black and brown students. And when they believe in the capabilities of these students and hold them to high standards, they help students achieve in ways some believe is not possible.

At Black Men Teach, we transform the classroom experience by cultivating and coaching black men to become the exceptional educators our students deserve.


November 7, 2019

This Veteran’s Day, Black Men Teach thanks our active service members, veterans and their families for their service, sacrifice and commitment to country and community.

We offer a special thank you to those who served first in uniform and now serve in our nation’s classrooms as positive role models, inspiring and educating the next generation of leaders.

Many of these men and women became teachers via “Troops to Teachers,” a Department of Defense supported program providing a viable and affordable pathway to the classroom.

Troops to Teachers assists transitioning service members and veterans in beginning new careers as K-12 school teachers in public, charter and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.  The program provides counseling and referral services for participants to help them meet education and licensing requirements to teach and subsequently helps them secure a teaching position.  Since 1993, more than 21,000 veterans have successfully transitioned to a career in education.

Learn more about Troops to Teachers at https://proudtoserveagain.com/, and share this information with a veteran you may know who would be an awesome educator and role model.


October 15, 2019

Strategic Roadmap Discussions with Accenture


Black Men Teach continues working behind the scenes to develop near and long-term milestones, including mission alignment and the development of our organization’s roadmap.

In late September, we had the invaluable opportunity to hear from thought-leaders at Accenture in Minneapolis, who shared their research on students, teachers and prospective teachers of color in the Twin Cities area and where we will be most effective as we strive to provide all students to have the opportunity to attend schools staffed with racially and culturally diverse teachers and leaders.

Accenture’s thorough examination of our marketplace and our goals suggest our mission is on track as we focus on “the what, the how, and the why.”  With a continued focus on building relationships and our funding base, this roadmap includes activating stakeholder engagement, developing our community outreach plan, finalizing our school partnerships and executing a black community-led recruitment strategy.

We are indebted to the work that Accenture has done to help guide our future and look forward to continuing on our path to improve academic success and life outcomes for black elementary school students by building strategic community partnerships that create the environment and conditions where black male teachers can thrive.  Special thanks to David Wilson, Christy Sovereign, Trey Gladney and Kevin Idahor.


October 10, 2019


Congratulations to our Board Chair, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed!

We are pleased to share with you notice of an honor recently bestowed upon our chair, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, named “Superintendent to Watch,” by the National School Public Relations Association.

The Superintendent to Watch award honors superintendents who have fewer than five years of experience and who are on track to be remarkable leaders. Superintendents who earn the award are strong communicators who demonstrate active, visible involvement in their districts. They engage their community in multiple ways and model strong communication for staff.  Rhoda is just two years into her superintendent position with Hopkins, yet she has completed an ambitious number of tasks related to communication and engagement, created a leadership academy for principals and department leaders, and focused on ways to authentically engage disenfranchised audiences. Rhoda brings these same skills and personal qualities to her role as chair of Black Men Teach, where she has assisted in building a board of remarkable leaders in education and business, and enlisted a number of K-12 and higher education partners to collaborate in our work of increasing the number of black male educators in the Twin Cities.


September 16, 2019

A welcome to Tamiko Thomas, our new Board Member!  See the Who We Are section to find out more about Tamiko and to correspond with her.


September 3, 2019

Black Men Teach is pleased to announce the appointment of Josh Thelemann to the position of Interim Program Manager.

“This appointment marks a significant milestone in the development of Black Men Teach,” said BMT Board Chair Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed.  “With the start of the school year, the BMT consortium of community partners is launching its collective impact approach to increasing the number of black male educators in our elementary schools, and Josh will play a critical role in ‘quarterbacking’ this activity.”


August 13, 2019

Thanks to all the incredible men who dedicate their lives to inspiring others to greatness.

Black Male Teacher…You DID Sign Up For This


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



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.

Student-Teacher Race Match in Charter and Traditional Public Schools

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.