Only 3 Out of 100 United States Teachers Are Black


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Less than 3% of all teachers in the United States are Black men. That’s 3 out of 100. Research shows that just 1 Black male teacher in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade for young Black men substantially decreases his chances of dropping out of high school by 40%.

Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T) is an organization recruiting and training men of color to become teachers. Through innovative programming, mentorship and paid fellowships, BE2T is increasing the number of Black male teachers in United States public schools.

Representation matters. It matters even more, particularly for Black boys. This is the message BE2T CEO and Cofounder Larry J. Irvin Jr. took to the TED stage as part of TED@BCG: Recalibrate. The eleventh event, hosted by TED and Boston Consulting Group, gathers the leaders from business, academia, science and tech who are at the forefront of change and transformation. The TED@BCG series of events has been held in Mumbai, Toronto, Milan, Paris, London, Berlin, Singapore, San Francisco, and in New York City in September 2021.

“I don’t think I will fully understand the gravity of my TED Talk experience until the end of the year. We’re so used to operating from survival mode that it’s sometimes difficult to fully reside in moments of triumph. The mentality is always ‘produce, by all means.’ Excellence is our standard at BE2T and it starts with me. It’s imperative that I show the fellows and staff members that we expect to win and win big. It sets a tone for a high-performance culture internally that promotes and produces greatness,” said Irvin, a 2021 TED Fellow.

“The visibility of a Black man speaking on such a stage as TED will have a huge impact on Black male teachers and young Black boys alike. It’s seldom they get to see someone who looks like them pushing their narrative in an extremely positive light. This conversation is straight from the horse’s mouth. I’ve been a Black male student, a Black male teacher, and now a Black male leader. It’s crucial.”

Irvin’s TED Talk will be released to the public later this year.

“My mother was an educator. I may have a colorful past, but the positive foundation she set for my sister and me paid dividends. She opened the scope of possibilities for me, and I became a teacher. I’m now the CEO of an organization focused on opening that scope for other young men by training them to be teachers,” he said. “Being a teacher is one of the coolest ways to see your impact on a daily basis. Being a black male teacher is becoming a superhero,”

About Brothers Empowered to Teach:
Less than 3% of all teachers in the United States are Black men. That’s 3 out of 100. Research shows that just 1 Black male teacher in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade for young Black men substantially decreases his chances of dropping out of high school by 40%.

Starting as an idea in 2012, by Kristyna Jones and Larry J. Irvin Jr., Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T) is an organization recruiting and training men of color to become teachers. Through innovative programming, mentorship and paid fellowships, BE2T is increasing the number of Black male teachers in United States public schools.

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