CommunityBuild Ventures and BMEsTalk are excited about a new collaboration that was recently formed between CBV and Georgia State University’s CREATE Teacher Residency program. This partnership was created with the intent to design and facilitate the CREATE Black Men in Education Collaborative.
Under the leadership of Senior Partner, Ayodele Harrison, a 4-day experience was held for a group of black male educators from public schools across Atlanta. Mr. Harrison helped cultivate the culture that is needed in order to engage in reflective and collaborative dialogue that can lead to transformative action.
GSU’s CREATE was created to help build and nurture a thriving community of educators who are dedicated to prioritize racial justice. Their vision is for every student to benefit from a “critically-conscious, compassionate, and skilled educator.” Both CREATE and CBV/BMEsTalk have the long-term goal of building and retaining black male students and educators so a collaboration with CBV was only natural.
The event was attended by 20 black men representing 11 public schools in Atlanta. All attendees were encouraged to explore and learn promising practices to maximize wellness and explore identity that they would then be able to take back to the schools they represent to serve and support the students and their communities.
A variety of teaching methods were used and attendees met in both large and small groups under the guidance of leaders who helped facilitate conversations. Participants were given the opportunity to learn about race, systemic oppression, and inequities that have been present in their schools for generations.
The event was a huge success with one participant quoted as saying, “I have gained the confidence to lead informal gatherings of the Black educators at my school and engage them in some of the activities we participated in that build community.” Polls showed that 100% of attendees would recommend the collaboration to other black men in Atlanta’s public schools and also that they hope to attend another event themselves in the future.
Our favorite testimonial may be this one:
“Man THANK y’all for this. You all are doing a great thing. To be transparent, as the week drew nigh I was having second thoughts. Thinking to myself, “Dang, this is a whole week of my summer pretty much stuck in a PD. I could be at home chilling, playing Call of Duty…But I am more than grateful that I saw this through. I found myself very eager for the next day every single day.”
Testimonies and results like these would not have been possible without the teams at both GSU and CBV as well as the support and funding of The Anne E Casey Foundation and United Way of Greater Atlanta. CBV and BMEsTalk look forward to future collaborations and community events as our mission to raise up future black male educators and retain the great ones of today continues. We hope to see more educators join us in the movement to empower BMEs.