Today, the Center for Black Educator Development (CBED), a nonprofit revolutionizing education by increasing the number of Black educators, announced the launch of their campaign, #WeNeedBlackTeachers, to help raise awareness about the need for more Black educators and encourage young Black people to consider answering the call to become teachers. The organization will be working with influencers, students and teachers throughout the day to amplify the cause online.
Research shows that Black students who’ve had a Black teacher in elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college—13% more likely if they’ve had one Black teacher in elementary school, and over 32% more likely if they’ve had two. The impact is even more stark for Black boys. If a Black boy has a Black teacher in grades 3-5, they on average have a 29% increased interest in pursuing college and a 39% lower chance of dropping out of high school.
But Black teachers are drastically underrepresented in the American teaching force in comparison to the diversity of the U.S. student body. Although 15% of public school students in the United States identify as Black, only 7% of public school teachers identify as Black. To get to the point where there’s a similar proportion of Black teachers as there are students, the number of Black teachers needs to grow by 280,000. For more information on the campaign, visit WeNeedBlackTeachers.com.
“We’ve seen the proven impact that Black teachers have on student learning. That’s why we are working with local and national leaders to encourage Black people across the country to become teachers,” said Sharif El-Mekki, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CBED. “We’re working to remind young Black people that education is the backbone of activism — to be a Black educator is an act of resistance and a step towards liberation.”
The Center for Black Educator Development was founded in June 2019 to ensure equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators who reflect the cultural background and socio-political interests of the students they serve. The Center promotes exercises in self-reflection and interrogation of the mindsets and biases of educators and aspiring educators, while driving social justice and policy conversations.