The other day, I was invited to attend a webinar entitled Unique Impact, Unique Burdens: Insights into the Black Male Educator Experience. It was hosted by DonorsChoose. During the webinar, Kristen Joye Lyles, Vice President, Equity & Impact at DonorsChoose, presented current data results from a massive survey DonorsChoose conducted. Invited speakers included Sharif El-Mekki, CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development and Dr. Travis Bristol, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley. At one point the conversation turned to the topic of teacher burnout. And according to the survey data, Black Male Educators were less likely than all other people surveyed to report feeling burnt out. For example, 39% of Black Male Educators survey reported compared to 55% of Black Female Educators. Joy Lyles asked Dr. Bristol to comment on this finding and what he said blew me out of the water and affirmed my work leading BMEsTalk.
Dr. Bristol shared that “the power and the persistence of toxic masculinity is manifesting itself in these data.” He went on to say ”[Black] men are socialized to not talk about and share how challenging something might be.“ Dr. Bristol then shared that only when men are in “safe affinity spaces”, do they have access to the “language and tools” to understand and articulate how they are feeling and admit to feeling burnt out. Take a listen to his 3 min response and a suggested course of action.
Listening to this webinar affirmed my work leading BMEsTalk. I am creating Black Male Educator centered affinity spaces and professional learning opportunities, where they can learn and practice essential skills to beat burnout and continue to thrive as leaders in their schools.
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Click here for a summary of the DonorsChoose survey data and full webinar.