Black male teachers make up 1.3% of all teachers in grades K-12, making them the second least-represented demographic in teaching, behind men of Asian descent. 

However, our nation's history with human rights and education has played a huge role in this reality.

“As much as Brown versus Board of Education did well for us, it also did some things that were not so good. It eliminated about 50 percent of our black teaching staff,” said Justin Jennings, Superintendent of Youngstown City School District.

Youngstown City School District is pushing the needle in the right direction with one of the most diverse teaching staff and minorities in leadership in the area. Understanding representation matters is more than just a motto.

“I believe it matters because when our scholars see African-American men in particular, it should lessen the anxiety that they have about communicating, opening up, being transparent, and being able to really express how they feel,” said Dr. Martin Freeman, Scholar Advocate Supervisor, YCSD.

“One of the benefits is access, whereas some of our scholars may not have a male role model in the home or one that’s accessible to them, and for 180 days and seven hours a day, I’m accessible," said Garrick Matlock, Assistant McKinney-Vento Liason, YCSD.

And they hope to inspire more men to choose careers in education.

“We have to them know the possibilities as it relates to education as a career. Speaking to them about how they’re needed, identifying those leadership abilities inside of our scholars early, and begin to direct them towards education as a career,” said Matlock.