Black male teachers matter!
A new campaign is encouraging Black men to become educators in Cleveland, News 5 Cleveland reports.
While diversity and inclusion is a hot topic nationally right now, some conversations have been going on longer than we’ve had the language to articulate the issue. Diversity in the classroom, particularly as it relates to educators and its ability to impact the learning of students is a conversation, that’s as old as time.
In the United States, about 7% of all teachers identify as Black, only 24% of that group identifying as male, according to a statistic from the National Center for Education Statistics. In Cleveland, the numbers are even scarcer, only 2% of educators identifying as Black males. Meanwhile, the demographics of school districts are steadily diversifying, regions like Northeast Ohio seeing Black, Hispanic and Asian American students making up almost half of the classrooms.
An organization, “Black Men Teach Cleveland,” is looking to change all of that, partnering with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to launch a new campaign encouraging Black men to become educators in the city.
“We want Black male educators, as well as other educators of all races. It’s very important that students have someone to look at as a role model. And what better person than a Black educated man to have them help guide their education in their learning and also life choices?,” said BMT Cleveland member Bruce Ransom.
Ransom is a veteran educator in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District with nearly three decades of experience under his belt. He also serves as chair of “Black Men Teach Cleveland.” Ransom says the organization is using a five-prong approach to encourage Black men to go into education, focusing on recruitment, preparation, location, position and retention. They are not only looking to get Black men into the field of education, but they’re also hoping to support them in their professional growth.
A new campaign video puts out a call to Black men, emphasizing that the time is now. Aaron Eatman, a teacher in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, spoke on camera about the significance of the work of the organization and his own experience in the educational system.
“I think it’s very important that we are visible in the classroom settings because there’s so few of us. I didn’t run into my first Black male teacher until I was in college,” said Eatman.
Currently, “Black Men Teach Cleveland” meets monthly. To learn more about their efforts, click here.
Photo Courtesy of Black Men Teach Cleveland