Our support for today’s generation of Black students is crucial to bridging the gap between educational achievement and equal opportunity. In order to do so, we must also uplift our Black teachers who are integral in making that happen.

In an effort to support this cause, the Center for Black Educator Development has announced a new nationwide educational justice campaign to drastically increase the number of Black teachers entering the education field.

With $3.1 million in new funding, the Center will launch the Black Teacher Pipeline (BTP) and the Black Educators of Excellence Fellowship — a program in partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) — to help recruit and financially support the next generation of Black educators across America.

Funding for these initiatives was provided by the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Spring Point Partners, Alice Walton through the Walton Family Foundation and Education Leaders of Color, a press release shares.

According to statistics provided to AfroTech, Black teachers have the power to close educational achievement and opportunity gaps, which could decrease dropout rates and increase college enrollment of Black students by more than 30%.

The information outlined above is what motivated many investors to contribute to the Center for Black Educator Development’s effort.

“Our family was incredibly compelled by the research showing the educational benefits of same race teachers combined with the huge missed opportunity presented by the under-representation of Black teachers in our nation’s teaching corps,” said Eliana Lauder of the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund in a statement. “We are honored and humbled to support the Center for Black Educator Development’s efforts to allow more students to experience the benefits that come with having a teacher who might share their own lived experiences and unique perspectives. We hope to support mentorships that will long outlive us.” 

The Black Teacher Pipeline is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive program that’s providing a productive space for future Black educators, who are currently in high school and college, to act as teacher pre-apprentices.

By sponsoring these individuals through fellowship, apprenticeships, and scholarship, these individuals are receiving mentorship and professional learning opportunities throughout their first four years in the classroom.

The national campaign will expand on clinical and virtual “to and through” strategies, a press release shares. It will also create spaces for students across the country to engage with each other as they embark on their teaching journeys to become certified professionals.

In addition to the Black Teacher Pipeline, the Center and UNCF will team up to launch The Black Educators of Excellence Fellowship Program, which includes a scholarship fund and tuition for teacher apprentices to deliver on the Center’s mission to produce more Black educators.

Through their programming, the Center’s new campaign will usher at least 21,000 Black students into the teaching pipeline and 9,100 teachers into the profession. The hope for this program is to inspire change across the board to show how Black teachers can and will make a difference.

For more information about the Center for Black Educator Development, visit its website.