Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T)

Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T) is a community-based organization that was founded to generate a pipeline of male teachers of color. Founded by Kristyna N. Jones and Larry J. Irving, the organization annually selects undergraduate fellows from across the Louisiana region to participate in a series of programs that prepare them for a career in education. BE2T intentionally sparks conversations with young men who may not particularly see themselves in the classroom teaching or think that they would excel at a career in education. In just five years, the fellowship program has grown from seven to over 40 participants in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The organization also offers their Saturday Cipher Series, a series of workshops geared at professional and personal development around topics that are relevant to the black male experience. Subjects covered include: “What’s Your Mask? Identity and Stereotyping”; “Who’s The Man: Black Men and Masculinity”; and “Code Switching: Navigating Social Spaces with Increased Awareness.”

The fellows are also responsible for tutoring sessions that serve more than 200 high school students and 650 elementary students in city of New Orleans. Most recently, the organization was a recipient of both the PitchNola Community Solutions and 4.0 Schools Education Prize. The work of BE2T has helped close the achievement gap for at-risk students by inspiring and incentivizing more men of color to teach and mentor students.

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