Our story began with our own individual lived experiences navigating the education system. Having spent the majority of those years from kindergarten to graduate school rarely coming into contact with a Black educator and not knowing where to find help from someone who could directly understand the underlying challenges of being a Black student. Now as adults, professionals, and parents, we find ourselves going through the same unfortunate cycle and seeing other families with similar or same challenges in finding cultural resources to support our children’s academic goals.
We know that an increasing amount of published research indicates that students benefit in many ways from having a teacher or tutor of the same race or ethnicity. Research also suggests that Black educators, tutors, and mentors have a tremendous impact on the success of students’ academics in areas of science, reading, writing, math, technology, and other subjects, including their social-emotional wellbeing.
Together we can close the gap in Black students’ academic achievements by sharing our knowledge, lived-experience, and offer our skills to those in need. The Sankofa proverb teaches us to take from the past what is good and bring it into the present to make progress in the future. Let us do our part by taking our learned skills and give back to our community of students so they can have a better future.