Tougaloo College Hosts Mississippi Minority Male Educators Convening

Tougaloo, Miss.  – In an effort to inspire more minority males to become teachers, Tougaloo College will host a one-day convening of minority male educators on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic Center.

Minority male educators make up only six percent of Mississippi’s teachers. With the state of Mississippi experiencing a shortage of teachers, many groups are coming together in search of a resolution to this issue.

Tougaloo College Division of Education is proud to partner with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Educator Talent Acquisition and Effectiveness, Mississippi Association of Educators and the Mississippi Professional Educators to welcome 75 minority male educators from across the state of Mississippi. The purpose of the convening is to explore strategies to increase the number of minority male educators and reduce those leaving the field.

This strategic method to finding a solution to the teacher shortage issue, as well as seeking strategies to recruit new minority male teachers is unique, as this is the first event of this kind in Mississippi, according to Dean of the ‪Division of Education, Supervision, and Instruction, Dr. Thea H. Williams-Black.

“I commend MDE for taking a stance and seeing the importance of having minority male educators in the classroom,” said Williams-Black. “I like the fact that it was a call for educators across the state, so you’re getting perspectives from educators from various regions and that’s the real way you can see change,” she said. As an educator at a Historically Black College, Williams-Black knows the importance of continuing the cycle of producing good teachers who care about students and who can positively influence those students.

“A lot of HBCUs were founded on education; therefore, we need to be in the forefront of producing minority educators for the field and it takes convenings like these to allow us to move forward,” said Williams-Black.

Tougaloo College junior Education Major Isaiah Rush said he is interested in becoming an educator to become a role model for students and to enlighten students about the many professional opportunities they may pursue.

“Being a minority male in the community is very important because most young people think they can only play a sport or become a rapper, but if they see a male doing something positive, it can change their whole outlook on life,” said Rush, who wants to build lifelong relationships with his students.

“Both of my parents work in the education field, so at a very young age my parents instilled the importance of getting an education,” he said.

During the convening, experts in the field of race and culture in schools will lead sessions, focus groups and lunch. Participants will hear the latest research from national expert Dr. Tyrone Howard and author Tyrone Hendrix, while learning about professional development opportunities available through organizations like Profound Gentlemen.

MDE has set a goal of increasing the number of minority teachers to 32 percent of the workforce by 2021, up from the current 27 percent of teachers. In the 2017-18 school year, 48.5 percent of students in Mississippi’s public schools were African American and 51 percent of students were males.