The Young Black Educator's Movement

Working to improve the experiences of young black educators serving in urban schools

Photo of Diamond Robinson

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

07/23/1995

Where are you located:

State 1: 33021 | State 2: 20060

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: http://www.ybethemovement.org
Twitter: @ybethemovement
Instagram: @ybethemovementllc
Facebook: Young Black Educators LLC

Date Started

05/08/2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

I am stepping up to make a change because I am a first year young black educator who quickly learned that the education is not set up for our success nor our students success. In my first year in the classroom, I have struggled, been underpaid, under-supported, had limited resources, and more. The worst part is that this isn't just my experience, this is a nation-wide phenomenon. Teacher enrollment numbers are low but the number of students attending school doesn't decrease. The low number of teachers is even worse in our inner-city communities with schools made up of black and brown babies. We need more teachers entering and staying in the classroom. We need better experiences and resources for those teachers. This is my why.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem that I am solving is the unsatisfactory experiences of young black educators serving in urban schools. We are addressing the lack of support, resources, and professional development opportunities that are catered to us and the students we serve.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our plan to solve this problem is simple and three-fold. We want to focus on 3 key areas: culturally relevant professional development, resources, and support networks.

1.Culturally Relevant PD (#FORTHECULTURE) We seek to offer professional development opportunities and events with speakers who specialize SPECIFICALLY in culturally responsive content for black and brown students in urban communities.

2. Support Networks: We seek to create support networks of young black educators in the cities we serve. This will be cultivated through networking events, lesson-planning "meet ups", group chats, etc.

3. Resources: We intend on providing young black educators with a wide range of resources that will support and improve their classroom practices. This may include but is not limited to: book giveaways, downloadable lesson planning idea documents, grants for classroom supplies, classroom supplies and/or technology, giftcards, etc.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

(Hypothetical)A specific example of someone getting involved with our project would look like an individual will be able to go on our website and select to either start a young black educator network in their city or join one if it already exists. Once application is processed the individual will become a part of "the movement" and then have access to exclusive member content and resources, member only networking events and PDs and more, these members will also have lesson planning "meet ups". Getting involved with our project can also include someone just attending our networking events in their city and meeting another Y.B.E. leading to friendship and support system. It can also look like a YBE accessing a downloadable resource from our site and using it in their classroom or applying for a classroom supplies grant.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

What makes us unique is that we are young black educators serving young black educators. We are marketing towards a very specific demographic; black teachers aged 22-30 and we are a part of that demographic. This very specific group allows us to focus on specific needs and also develop content that is accurate. As a result of this, the aura or "vibe" of our project is youthful and fun which makes us relatable and helping us to grow quickly.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

With our launch being less than a month ago, I believe we are doing very well. We currently have 148 followers on Instagram, 564 followers on Twitter, 73 newsletter subscribers, and 631 website views. We have also launched our first summer internship program which is an unpaid internship. We have 3 interns on our team. We have completed our first book giveaway, we are currently in conversation with two education non-profits to begin partnership, and we also are currently planning our first teacher-networking event set to take place this summer,

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

What's next are a few things. First, new location, up until this point most of our work has been remote, in the fall we will be based out of Washington, DC. Secondly, we will launch our first support group of members in late August. This will be the first small network of members of the Young Black Educators Movement, the goal is for this group to be a trial run for us, we will evaluate the effectiveness, make improvements and set to develop two more groups in two different cities near after. Next we will begin our professional development series, this will consist of us hosting PD events led by education experts. By the end of 2019, we hope to develop an online academy of PD for members of our network who are not close enough to attend.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

In order to make our vision a reality we need funding to plan and execute events for things like venues, djs, food, decorations etc., we need support of education experts to speak at our events and inform our practices, we need to develop marketing strategies to expand our reach and we need mentorship from individuals with experience in this work for guidance with business/logistical questions/decisions

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We could partner with other changemakers and/or young people in a number of ways like merging our project goals on a singular idea or project and making an even larger impact than we would alone! Currently we are in the process of developing a partnership with a non-profit entitled Social Society U. As young black educators, we are working with this org to develop an online video series that will educate high school youth on the college application process. Their organization's purpose is to educate students on college and the college application process in a fun way and what better to do that then to use young educators to teach them! This partnership is exciting because we get to help Social Society U execute their mission and do what we love, teach! Secondly, as a new movement, we get access to the support of Social Society U's folks, ultimately increasing our awareness! This same idea of partnership could be implemented with people in the community, small businesses, and more; all it requires is sitting down and finding ways we can all work together to support our causes.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Low-income community
  • LGBTQ community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Nia Wellman, Founder of Campus Curlz college organization.

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Photo of Kim Solem
Team

Diamond, so great to see you take your difficult experiences as a new teacher and not quit, but turn it into inspiration to build a strong network of teachers helping other teachers. Such an important calling and not well compensated or appreciated, so it's so impressive you're stepping up to lead this change. Keep the faith and forge ahead - you are a changemaker!

Photo of Diamond Robinson
Team

Thank you so much!

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