Two cofounders of The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice just scored national recognition - Generocity Philly

People

Jul. 30, 2018 9:05 am

Two cofounders of The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice just scored national recognition

Philly's Vincent Cobb II and Rashiid Coleman have been named 2018 Echoing Green Fellows.

Vincent Cobb II and Rashiid Coleman of the Fellowship of Black Male Educators.

(Courtesy photo)

It’s an oft-shared statistic in the education world: Only 2 percent of America’s teachers are Black men.

And, according to Philly.com, 54 percent of students in the Philadelphia School District are Black, yet only 5 percent of their teachers are Black men.

Following the adage “You can’t be what you can’t see,” an organization called The Fellowship of Black Male Educators for Social Justice (BME) was founded in Philadelphia in 2014 as a membership and activist organization dedicated to promoting and recruiting Black men as teachers.

BME started an annual conference this past October to convene that 2 percent. The event’s goal: to give those teachers hope and motivation, and give them a chance to thrive in a field lacking representation.

This month, Vincent Cobb II and Rashiid Coleman, who cofounded BME with Sharif El-Mekki, were named Black Male Achievement Fellows within Echoing Green’s fellowship class of 2018.

From our Partners

Echoing Green’s Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship and Leadership Development Programs supports 35 social entrepreneurs across the country with professional development and mentorship, and seed funding of $90,000 that will be deployed over two years. (Philadelphia’s Rising Sons founder Alex Peay was named a 2016 Echoing Green fellow.)

Both Cobb and Coleman attended public school and have experienced the lack of Black male educators, they said via email; Cobb said he had one Black male teacher that inspired him, while Coleman said he had several.

Being a part of BME has allowed them to motivate younger Black males to join the education field, the same way those teachers did for them.

“I think we’ve been able to garner a lot of attention locally as well as nationally and started a necessary conversation that has been on a lot of people’s tongues for awhile now,” said Coleman, who worked as a teacher and school dean for the last three years before transitioning to working for the nonprofit BME full-time. “We’ve created a space where we are not just highlighting a problem but actually providing solutions as well and it seems as if people have been drawn to the cause naturally.”

The annual conference allows for teachers nationwide to meet others in their shoes. Echoing Green’s investment will fund the continuing development of BME, which just hired a program director to scale its work.

“Our work has found wide support and a unique niche in the education landscape and has elevated our cause on a national level,” said Cobb, who has worked as a teacher and administrator before becoming a community and family partnerships director for schools in his native Syracuse, as well as D.C. and Philadelphia. “The response has been overwhelming but we are grateful to work on a real issue that we care about for [our] students and communities.”

Cobb and Coleman also have undisclosed plans to collaborate with past, present and future Echoing Green fellows.

The second annual Black Male Educators Convening conference will be held Oct. 12 through 14. Speakers include scholar Marc Lamont Hill, former Attorney General Eric Holder and activist Jamira Burley.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

A quick guide to creating social impact with your personal finances

Vote now: NRG announced the latest 3 nonprofits up for $50,000

On the Table Philly is back Nov. 8 and this time there’s money up for grabs

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1300, Philadelphia, PA 19128

Bread & Roses Community Fund

Project Manager

Apply Now
415 E. Athens Ave., Ardmore, PA

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Ardmore, PA

Part-Time Controller

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

Manager, Membership Growth and Stewardship

Apply Now

Peep Hopeworks ‘N Camden youth’s heat maps of the country’s biggest donors

The story behind the Philly United Way’s 37 layoffs

MilkCrate is now building apps for nonprofits

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize

Bryn Mawr

ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth

Executive Director

Apply Now
Radnor, PA (Philadelphia suburbs)

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

Development Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of PA

Financial Specialist

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity