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Black Male Educators Alliance Non-profit Aims To Add More Black Men In Education

There are not that many Black men who work in education.

Black male educator

In fact, just a little over 1% of educators in the nation are Black men, according to the Black Enterprise.

As a part of Fox 17’s Path Forward Initiative, the station analyzed the statistics of Black men leading in education. The TV station also delved into how organizations such as the Black Male Educators Alliance (BMEA) recruit more Black men to take on these leadership roles in schools and classrooms.

BMEA embarked in 2017 and was founded by Curtis Lewis, Ph.D. Lewis’ goal is to transform the education experience for Black and brown students by developing and working with “culturally responsive educators dedicated to the growth of the youth.”

The initial target of BMEA is to target the increase in the number of Black males in Michigan classrooms. Now that has expanded to developing culturally sustaining policies, structured programming and teacher pedagogy. Programs include school partnerships, leadership events, and wellness sessions for teachers and principals, according to the Black Enterprise.

We’re trying to create this pipeline; we also try to keep those who are already in the profession there as well,” Lewis said.

He said that the way to diversify the profession is by making change.

William Childers, a seventh and eighth-grade science teacher, is the only Black man teaching at Riverside Middle School in Grand Rapids, saying it is uncommon to see a Black man working as an educator in STEM. Still, the parents are appreciative of Childers being an example.

“They just don’t see too many things, and that’s part of the cultural and the equity part. A lot of them just see baseball and football players,” Childers said. “Does it make me do my job differently? No. Because I’m just trying to affect the students that I have.”

Representation is important, according to the Black principal of Innovation Central High School, Jason McGhee, Ed.D.

“We have about 52% of our student population are Spanish speaking, Latino, Latina. About 38% are Black. So, for those high numbers, especially those Black boys and girls, I’m their principal,” McGhee said.

“I don’t have any Black male educators in the building, but I do have Black male support staff. My assistant principal is a Black man. I have youth advocates and a college adviser who is a Black man. So, when we look at other schools in our supportive roles, absolutely. In the classroom, not so much,” he added. “What Dr. Lewis is doing in Detroit – we need to keep those organizations pumped, we need to keep those organizations like the Black Male Educators Alliance funded, we need to keep those organizations going,” McGhee said.

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Joseph Wiliams
Joseph Wiliams
26. Mai 2023

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