Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan (BMEA) is a collective of educators, mentors, community leaders, and other professionals who believe that strong Black male educators are essential to transforming our education system. Recognizing that there are institutional impediments to diversity in the education profession, our mission is to increase and strengthen the community of Black male educators in Michigan classrooms to improve educational experiences and outcomes for all children.
We achieve this by partnering with educational agencies at the local, state and national level to support RECRUITING black men into education, ENGAGING black male educators, and DEVELOPING leaders to improve the education of urban youth.
In 2015, Founder and CEO, Dr. Curtis L. Lewis had the vision to galvanize all his years of experience as an accomplished educator, and a network of educators to marshal in a new organization with the primary goal to recruit, engage, and develop black male educators.
Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan was established to dismantle the institutional impediments to diversity within the education profession, thereby improving the educational experiences of all children.
Due to overwhelming commitment to the mission and volunteer support, BMEA in its pilot year (2017), provided quality programming, professional development, networking opportunities, and a transformational midwest regional conference to over 500 educators, community leaders and policy makers in the Midwest region.
In the Fall of 2019, Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan (BMEA) partnered with Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) to offer a unique fellowship opportunity to 20 black male educators through the MBK Innovation Challenge Detroit initiative. The Developing Strong Black Male Educators Fellowship focused on supporting black male educators with their work to engage young men of color in positive and effective learning experiences. The Fellowship was designed to provide fellows with new tools and methods that draw from best practices in leadership, instruction, culturally responsive teaching and design thinking.
The 2020 Fellowship drew on lessons learned from our pilot year, and due to the pandemic this year’s fellowship sessions were hosted online via a virtual platform.
Our Mission is to increase and strengthen the community of Black male educators in classrooms across the nation, to improve educational outcomes for all children.
We achieve this by partnering with educational agencies at the local, state and national level to support Recruiting black men into education, Engaging black male educators, and Developing leaders to improve the education of youth and transform their overall educational experience.
The Network: BMEA’s Focus Areas:
Policy: BMEA works closely with educational policy makers in Detroit and the Michigan Department of Education to bring awareness and to advocate for change or support in all policy areas that greatly impact students and staff.
Mentoring: BMEA mentors young black male students at the middle and high school level. The mentoring program focuses on academic excellence, responsibility to community, social justice and the importance of education.
Recruiting: BMEA is committed to recruiting young black high school male talent into colleges of education, and to recruiting the top professionals into the field of education.
Instructional Leadership & Training: BMEA facilitates various professional development training sessions to educators and leadership teams, and hosts annual fellowships to black male educators in the areas of Culturally Responsive Education, Restorative Practices, and other best practices in the classroom.
Black men consist of approximately 2% of the teaching force. This number is at 2% or even lower for some school districts in Michigan where the majority of the student body is African American. Although there are efforts to recruit men of color into education, schools and districts struggle more with retaining Black men than recruiting. Currently, Black male educators are five times more likely to leave the education profession than other groups. Research has also shown the positive impact that Black male teachers have on the dropout rate, academic and socio-emotional success of students of color. Further, the State of Michigan is one of the lowest performing states for all students and in the bottom three states for African American children. The urgency around this work is necessary and paramount to the lives of the children in this State. The need is clear and BMEA is committed to playing a significant role in not only recruiting, supporting and engaging Black male educators, we are committed to the transformation of schools that have historically failed students of color. It is important that we push the envelope in the State of Michigan to provide policy and programming that will enable access for Black males to become educators in our schools.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Curtis L. Lewis, Ph. D.
N. Akosua Burris
Lisa Johanon, Esq
Chairman of the Board
Karlin Tichenor, Ph. D.
Tanya Upthegrove Gregory
Leah Van Belle, Ph. D.
Rev. Solomon Kinloch, Jr.
Marini Lee, Ph. D.
Michael Payne, JR
Vice President - Programming
Joseph Hines, II
Vice President - Programming
Director of Communications & Finance
Director of Technology and Data Analysis