"Teaching is a Revolutionary Act." —Dr. Precious Symonette
A diverse teaching workforce is a direct means to achieving a more equitable society, and increasing the number of Black teachers in our nation's schools is a significant component of promoting anti-racism. As part of this work, TEACH.org invited three of the nation’s top educators to join us for a one-hour event on June 3, 2020: Be the Change: The Impact of Black Teachers and How You Can Join the Profession.
The response was overwhelming, with more than 1,800 current and future educators signing up to join the event. And our panelists delivered, with insightful data, inspiring stories, and powerful resources.
On this page, we’ve compiled some of the big takeaways from the event for you. If you missed it, you probably want to watch the recording. Or if you were there, watch it again—you won’t regret it.
Three Extraordinary Black Educators
Dr. John B. King, Jr. is the president and CEO of the Education Trust and served as US Secretary of Education in the Obama administration. He is a former teacher and principal.
In Dr. King's segment, you'll learn why Black teachers are crucial to all students. He cites studies from Johns Hopkins alongside his own childhood experiences.
Dr. Precious Symonette is a 14-year educator with Miami Dade County Public Schools, a professor, CEO of the Florida Freedom Writers Foundation, and the 2016 National Education Association Superhero Educator.
In her presentation, Dr. Symonette takes you on an emotional journey through her own classroom, illustrating the transformative power of Black teachers for students of color. Then she calls on you to join the profession.
Mr. Sharif El-Mekki is the founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. He was a teacher and nationally acclaimed principal, recognized by President Obama and Oprah Winfrey for accelerating student achievement.
As a college student, El-Mekki knew he wanted to "dive in to activism." It took an influential Black male teacher and mentor to show him that teaching was the way to make lasting change.