MESSAGE FROM DR. M. LOUIS ROBINSON III, DIRECTOR OF BLACK MALE ENGAGEMENT
Dr. M. Louis Robinson III, Director of Black Male Engagement, Center for Black Educator Development
Through Affinity Conversations held in both Pennsylvania and Delaware school districts, the Center discovered a critical need for educators of color to engage in safe spaces that permit open dialogue, support, inspiration and intentional connecting of individuals who share the same race.
In these conversations, we heard educators of color share feelings of loneliness and isolation and a lack of support from colleagues and administrators as well as parents and caregivers. They shared they felt they were subject to biased school policies and practices.
As we continue to drive our work with affinity groups for educators of color, we do so while always creating opportunities to better position white allies to learn strategies for supporting and retaining educators of color. In doing so, we honor each participant’s unique lived experiences to tailor conversations and experiences that support the needs of the group.
Increased teacher diversity will lead to more culturally-relevant teaching and curriculum, higher expectations of children of color, and the reduction of the racial-achievement gap. It will also encourage students of color to enter the teaching profession. But these goals will only be realized if we can work together to recruit and retain a diverse educator workforce.