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Program aims to build teacher diversity

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Organizers of the new program say students of color who don’t see diversity in their teachers may be less likely to become teachers themselves.

“I think the more that folks can see what the possibilities are, one. Two, the research has shown the importance of a black male educator on the lives of all children, not only children of color, but all children,” said Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan CEO, Curtis Lewis.

Lewis says this gives kids the opportunity to see themselves in their teachers.

“We ask kids to dream which is great we should always ask kids to dream. But it’s hard for us to ask kids to be something in the future that they can’t see. It’s important for us to bring attention to this as a viable profession, two it’s important for us to address the road blocks that may get in the way of folks engaging in the process of becoming a teacher,” said Lewis.

Local parent, Amber Jones, says her daughter benefits from the diversity in Lansing schools. She says she specifically decides where to send her children based on diversity and inclusion.

“It’s important because it showed her she can do whatever she wants. At this age she’s 6 she wants to be 1000 different things. Now she wants to be a teacher because of her theater teacher, her theater teacher has actually made her want to pursue that path we’ll see how it goes late on in life, but I know if more students were able to have the diverse nature that it’d make them feel like they can achieve anything they want to and that’s all we could want as parents for our children,” said Jones.

Recruitment for the program will begin in the summer of 2021.

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