Apple has profiled the inaugural class of Huston-Tillotson University’s African American Male Teacher Initiative, a program created in partnership with the iPhone maker to get more Black male educators in classrooms.
The program has Apple providing scholarships to students, as well as hardware, software, and professional development courses for students and faculty. It was established via Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, as part of a multi-year partnership with Huston-Tillotson.
The program was developed to change the statistic that only 2% of all US teachers are Black men. According to Apple’s profile, Black students are significantly more likely to graduate high school and consider attending college when they are taught by a black teacher.
“Every student should have the chance to be taught by someone who represents them,” wrote Hillary-Rhys Richards I his application to the program. “In order to build strong children, we need strong male teachers to forge a path through being the example for students. The baton has to be passed for us to continue pushing forward. I stand ready to run my leg of the race.”
Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Huston-Tillotson president, said the partnership with Apple to create the African American Male Teacher Initiative was prompted by seeing her son’s education transformed by the presence of a Black male teacher in the fifth grade.