“Our boys in the city need to see men of color who embrace teaching as a profession," says Alfred Tatum, University of Illinois at Chicago Dean of College of Education.
The institution is participating in a program dubbed Call Me MISTER which is designed to empower college students of color to explore careers in education and put them on track to become elementary school teachers in areas where schools lack diversity amongst their staff, the news outlet writes. The program has been in existence for 18 years and has been introduced to over 30 schools across the country, the news outlet writes. UIC is the largest urban school to participate in the project. As part of the program, participants receive free room and board and their tuition is covered.
There is a major need to increase racial representation in Chicago schools. According to the news outlet, 84 percent of students within the city’s public schools are Black and Latino but 42.7 percent of its educators are people of color. Many program participants say that they were inspired to join Call Me MISTER due to their own educational experiences and the lack of diversity that they witnessed among teachers while in grade school.
I don't remember having a black teacher until I got to college and I know for sure I've never had a male black teacher. This is an excellent program with a good incentive for those that make the choice to go through with it. Our kids need to see more people like themselves in teaching positions, especially men. This program should be offered in every state.