Districts have struggled to recruit, retain, and retire Black men from their classrooms. Our goal is to empower Black men to discover teaching.
Founder Robert Hendricks assumed a school leadership position in a Boston high school. Having served in other roles in schools, he was well-positioned to see flaws in the education space that resulted in so few Black male teachers, despite their positive impact.
He is Me Fellows frequently reflect on the intersection between their personal identities, their experiences as students, and the impact that they now have in our programs. This combination of experience and reflection empowers our fellows to obtain and retain careers in education.
He is Me Institute, Inc. was founded with a mission to empower Black men to obtain and retain careers in education.
He is Me was selected for a NewSchool Venture Fund Diverse Leaders grant, which included a $200,000 award. He is Me was also supported with a $10,000 grant and guidance to pilot its program from 4.0 Schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the national rise of racial tensions pushed He is Me to shift the focus from STEAM to social-emotional learning for boys of color in a virtual setting. The program was piloted by Black males from Profound Gentlemen.
The Education Equity Initiative was launched to include entities within the entire education ecosystem. All types of organizations that impact Black men being recruited, retained, and retired from education collaborate locally to fill the pipeline.
We strive to increase the number of Black men who discover the joy and adventure of teaching and who begin and remain in long-term teaching careers.
We envision Black households attaining financial freedom and building wealth as a result of educational opportunities that enable Black students to achieve their highest academic potential.
We lead with empathy, act with integrity, experience growth through struggle, and learn through reflection.
We cultivate ecosystems that help Black males to thrive at every level and in all aspects of the school setting, from K-career.
ROBERT J. HENDRICKS III
We unfairly ask Black men to seek a career in a setting that does not appreciate or respect them. When schools do not act by centering the experience of Black males, the shortage of Black male teachers will continue.
When we think about recruiting, retaining, and retiring Black males from schools, we need to act early.
The experiences that Black males have when they first enter schools, the opportunities they have in college, and the environments in which they work, all contribute to their representation in the field.
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Together, we can empower more Black men to lead from the blackboard.
P.A. Shaw Elementary
Boston Latin Academy
University of Massachusetts Boston
Middletown City School District
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