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Black and Brown Male Educators Matter

We all want our children to believe they can be anything they put their minds to. But for them to believe that dream, representation is key. Children are remarkable pattern recognizers, which means they notice when a certain job or role in their family or community is only filled by members of one gender. The profession children interact the most with—teachers—has a huge disparity between male and female representation. As Ken Coleman writes in this piece for The Michigan Advance, “as of 2019, fewer than 3% of preschool and kindergarten teachers were men.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. This short piece discusses an education summit called Black & Brown Male Educators Matter, hosted by Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based job training and community nonprofit, that offers an Early HeadStart program where nearly 40% of the teachers are Black and Brown men.

Take a look:

Detroit forum stresses importance of Black and Latino men in early childhood education

“It’s a great benefit to see men who look like them, men who care. A lot of times kids from the community did not see a male at home. A lot of kids are being raised by single mothers, grandparents or aunties. So to see a man who is caring and loving, engaging with them can have a great impact on a child,” said Waymond Hayes, director of Early Learning and Youth Development at Focus: HOPE’s Early Learning Center.

During the panel discussion, speakers discussed stigmas and biases men face in the field and how to eliminate barriers to increase male representation in the classroom.

“When we ask boys what they want to be when they grow up, it’s not that they want to be an early childhood educator. And we have to ask ourselves, ‘Why is that?’” said Roland Sintos Coloma, professor of teacher education at Wayne State University.

Image of Waymond Hayes, director of Early Learning and Youth Development at Focus: HOPPE Early Learning Center via Michigan Advance


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