How many Black male teachers did you have over the course of your educational career? Chances are, not many, as Black men make up only 2% of the nation’s teaching corps. This is a challenge that Morehouse alum, Michael Payne Jr., is working to address.

Mr. Payne is the President of Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan (BMEA), a collective of educators, mentors, community leaders, and other professionals who partner to increase the number of effective Black male educators to improve the educational experiences for urban children. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Curtis L. Lewis, BMEA collaborates with local and national educational organizations and school systems to recruit, train, and retain Black male educators, in hopes of influencing positive educational outcomes for all students.

In this interview with Tara Hardy, Manager of Education Initiatives at Detroit Public Television, Mr. Payne lays out the challenges Black men face in pursuing careers in education, the importance of culturally-responsive teaching, and the efforts of BMEA to attract and retain Black male teachers in Michigan.

To meet more of Detroit Public TV’s Silent Heroes, go here >