How many Black male teachers have you had? I’m sure the number is nonexistent or low. Blake Nathan, a former teacher, saw the disparities and decided to create Educate Me Foundation: a social enterprise determined to increase the number of men and women of color in the field of education.
“Teaching is a great profession,” he said.
Originally from Georgia, right outside of Atlanta, Nathan had over three Black teachers in his entire educational career including college. Although these numbers are low, the impact the teachers had on his life made a difference.
Nathan went for a career in teaching which led him to teach engineering and technology at a middle school in Indianapolis. Nathan said he was the only Black male teacher for at least a year.
“It was a culture shock,” said Nathan.
His foundation has been around since 2014, and in 2022 the organization launched the Black Teacher Fund to directly support teachers financially. Overall, the fund has raised close to $137,000 with a goal of raising over a million dollars by March 2023.
Funding 5 Key Areas
The Black Teacher Fund helps in five key areas: housing down payment assistance, mental health therapy sessions, test prep, and fee assistance, classroom materials, and an emergency fund.
Nathan understood that it would take a lot of effort to get teachers’ minimum salary raised, so he found a way to help out in the meantime.
The Black Teacher Fund
Currently, the Black Teacher Fund is supporting teachers that work in Marion County, Indiana. But the goal is to partner with organizations to provide funding for teachers for all over the country.
Educate Me is looking to collaborate with cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Charlotte. One of their current partners is Milwaukee, where they are helping Teach for America find placements for teachers in Milwaukee.
“What we’re doing is best practices that can be implemented in other cities,” said Nathan.
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Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.