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"Be the Change" Event and Resources Hub
Learn about the impact of Black teachers from three phenomenal educators in this one-hour recorded event. View the video, get the data, hear amazing stories and feel empowered to make your next move.
View the Webinar
"Be the Change" Event and Resources Hub
Learn about the impact of Black teachers from three phenomenal educators in this one-hour recorded event. View the video, get the data, hear amazing stories and feel empowered to make your next move.
View the Webinar

"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. 

1

Meet our Expert Panelists

2

Watch the Recorded Event

3

Get Facts & Resources

4

Get Started on Your Journey

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. 

Watch the Recorded Event

 

Start Your Revolution

Our panelists bring decades of experience in the classroom, advocacy organizations and policy. Here are some of the many facts and data points they cite:

  • African American students who've had an African American teacher in elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college—13 percent more likely if they’ve had one African American teacher in elementary school, and over 32 percent, more likely to enroll in colleges if they’ve had two. (Johns Hopkins University)
  • The majority of kids in the nation's public schools are kids of color, but only 18 percent of our teachers are teachers of color, and only 2 percent of our teachers are African American males. (United States Department of Education)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) prepare 16 percent of all Black teacher candidates. (United States Department of Education)
  • Of the attendees in the Be the Change Event, 37 percent had no Black male teachers throughout their K-12 education. Another 54 percent had fewer than 4.
  • Get the Facts

  • Share These Quotes

  • Find Additional Resources

Get Support to Become a Teacher

Learn more about the FREE resources available to future teachers, from one-on-one advising to financial support.
  • Talk to a Teacher

    Get one-on-one advice from a current educator.

  • Find Programs

    Explore programs that prepare you to teach.

  • Financial Aid

    Find financial resources to help pay for your teacher training.