91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How to recruit black, male teachers and why it’s important

Courtesy of Dr. Curtis L. Lewis

The Next Idea

The teaching profession in America remains largely white and female. That means young African American males can go through school without ever seeing a teacher who looks like them.

Not only can this mean a lack of black role models, but it also means teaching doesn’t get held up as a profession that’s desirable for black men to pursue.

Curtis Lewis is trying to change that narrative. He's principal of Henry Ford Academy and founder and Chairman of the Board of the Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan. He’s spent his career in education and has experienced first-hand what it’s like to be the only black male teacher in a school.

Read a sneak peak below, or listen to the full conversation at the bottom of the post.

On the mission of the Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan

“It is to develop an interest in younger black males. So we’re looking at a pipeline issue here, so we want to get our middle school, our high school students interested and seeing teaching as an option.

"We sort of do that through our mentoring program where we focus on cultivating that knowledge around what does it mean to be a teacher and why it’s important.

"And then also it’s important for them to see black males in education, right? For them to see themselves as this being a viable option.

"Once we’ve piqued their interest, [our mission is] also to work with various organizations and universities in recruiting black male teachers into the profession – so getting them into the teacher ed. programs, getting them into alternative certification programs.

"And then from there, we want to keep them. Some schools, some districts have made progress in getting males there, but they’ve often talked about not retaining them. Part of our mission is to provide a support system and a network, and give them all opportunity to learn from each other, to feel like they’re being supported so that we can retain them in the profession.”

The Next Ideais Michigan Radio’s project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook, or let us know your Next Idea here.

(Subscribe to The Next Idea podcast on iTunes, or with this RSS link.)


Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
Related Content