NFBLME's purpose is to create a dynamic, life-changing, empowering fellowship for Black and Latino males that springboards them into principal, senior level, and C-suite roles, increasing the number, longevity, and impact of Black and Latino males in the education sector.
According to our research, there are programs that focus on leaders of color, teachers of color, Black and/or Latino educators of color, but there are currently no programs that the missions sole purpose is to increase the number of Black and Latino male leaders of color in the Ed Sector.
While Black and Latino men are not overtly ignored by other fellowships and programming, the needs of Black and Latino male leaders aspiring to move up in their careers are often crowded out by other priorities within those programs focused on increasing diversity in the workplace and in leadership. Unlike other programs, our primary focus is to ensure that Black and Latino male leaders receive individualized and differentiated support tailored to their needs and context.
While this program was designed before the nationwide protests after the murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, these protests have brought the issue of racism directed toward people of color – and specifically Black men – as the movement for our time. The fact that schools with Black and Brown children do not have large numbers of Black and Latino male leaders is racist and must be addressed by strong, anti-racist policies and programs.
PROBLEM & OPPORTUNITY.
Representation matters for kids. The National Center For Education Statistics found that 48% of school-aged children are Black or Latino and projected that by 2024, the majority of the children in our school systems will be children of color. How did we get here? The Brookings Institute suggests that systematic racism and failure to actively address the system has played a role in the current shortage of Black and Latino male educators. After Brown vs. Board, an estimated 90% of Black Principals lost their jobs in the south. Additionally, as Black schools closed, an estimated 38,000 Black teachers loss their jobs. The Brookings Institute concludes that more Black and Latino male leaders in the Ed sector might increase the number of Black and Latino male leaders who enter the teaching profession.
Representation matters for adults too. While the number of Black and Latino children is rapidly rising, the number of Black and Latino male principals is not. Currently, only 13% of their Principals are Black or Latino males, and that number is not moving. That number does not represent the population of kids we are serving. Additionally, Black and Latino males are even less represented than their female counterparts. Underrepresentation of women of color is also an issue, but it is not as acute as the challenges facing Black and Latino male leaders. For example, The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the number of Black female principals is twice the number of Black male principals.
Simply put, we need more Black and Latino males in school leadership, and we need programs to directly address this challenge. While increasing the number of Black and Latino males in senior level positions in the education sector is not a panacea, it is a necessary start. Without proper representation from this mission critical group, everyone loses.
A McKinsey report found that diverse organizations outperform homogeneous ones, have higher employee satisfaction and enjoy improved employee collaboration and loyalty. While there are glaring holes in the education sector in creating an equitable and diverse school communities, a program designed to increase Black and Latino male leadership in education would help to fill the current void in the education sector.
The Association of Curriculum and Development noted that “minority leaders may be able to empathize with certain students' experiences in a way that positively influences those students' academic expectations and aspirations. We can't afford to lose that potential positive influence”.
A report by New Schools Venture found that only 25% of leadership/executive teams in the Ed sector are made up of Blacks or Latinos and only 17% of CEOs in the Ed sector are Black or Latino.