Black Excellence in Education: Organizations and Alliances in the Spotlight

Academics, Public, Racial Justice, Resources / /
black history month

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We have so much to be proud of and inspired by Black Excellence when we consider how far Black Americans have come over the past 400 years. Under 160 years ago, certain states still had laws on their books that prohibited literacy for Black people. Under 200 years ago, states prohibited Black people from attending public schools. Public and private colleges were not open to all people, regardless of race, until 1964. This means my parents were going to elementary, middle and high school still knowing that many colleges and universities may not be on the table for them.

Possip Founder and CEO, Shani Dowell, reflects on and shares professional groups that support and celebrate the success of black students, educators, and administrators.

I share this context so we can celebrate and appreciate the distance Black people in this country have traveled.  While we reflect on educational inequities in our system, they can often unintentionally become misperceived as a reflection of the potential and ability of Black Americans as opposed to a reflection of the systemic injustices that have been around – and persisted.

As we celebrate Black History Month and prepare to draw this month to a close, we want to celebrate and honor the Black Excellence in educators and organizations that have historically, and continue to, overcome odds. My mother, who grew up in segregated schools in Houston and is a proud alumna of Phyllis Wheathley High School in Houston’s 5th Ward, remembers the Black teachers who saw her potential.  They were models of how to dress, of high expectations, of love, and discipline.  She tells us of teachers who taught Advanced Math and Calculus during their lunch to make sure students were not limited in what they could attain.

So let’s celebrate the educators and the supporters who embody Black Excellence, have made Black History, and are making Black Futures.

Black Excellence – National Organizations


“Reconstruction is the #1 provider of holistic, supplemental, culturally-relevant curriculum, centered on the Black experience. Our comprehensive solutions create transformative learning experiences that inspire student empowerment and equip teachers to effectively educate on culturally-responsive content.

“Let us empower your school or organization to spread Black joy and Black excellence.”

UNCF – United Negro College Fund

“UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.

“UNCF’s North Star is to increase the total annual number of African American college graduates by focusing on activities that ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation.”

Black Educators Rock

“Black Educators Rock, Inc.’s vision is to offer professional development and a platform to share a plethora of best practices, resources, academic success, and professional accomplishments for our growing membership of educators. Professional development sessions will be held across the nation. We will recruit educators & students majoring in education to join our organization through an annual membership.”

Thurgood Marshall College Fund – TMCF

“Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCC).  Publicly-supported HBCUs enroll over 78% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.”

Black-owned Schools Directory (Black Minds Matter)

“Black-Owned School directory is the first-ever online directory to promote schools founded by African Americans. We are here to help, whether it’s finding a school for your child, advocating for more Black-owned school options, or expanding a network of supporters.”

National Alliance of Black School Educators – NABSE

“The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) is the nation’s premiere non-profit organization devoted to furthering the academic success for the nation’s children – particularly children of African descent. NABSE boasts an outreach to a distinguished group of preeminent educators including teachers, administrators, superintendents as well as corporate and institutional members. Founded in 1970, NABSE is dedicated to improving both the educational experiences and accomplishments of African American youth through the development and use of instructional and motivational methods that increase levels of inspiration, attendance and overall achievement.”

Black Principals Network – BPN (The Surge Institute)

“BPN envisions a nation where the brilliance, well-being, and success of Black principals are prioritized and nourished. For Black principals to successfully lead, educate, and inspire the communities they serve, there must be an active resistance against the professional burnout, isolation, trauma, and repression commonly experienced within this role. Black principals need a safe, nutritive space to connect with and learn alongside peers near and far. Through individual programming focused on self-discovery, sustainability, and radical self-care combined with collective programming that centers on problem-solving, access to high-quality resources, and critical reflection, BPN will help further equip Black principals in their roles as leaders and educators, and add to their well-roundedness as human beings.”

Black Excellence in Education - Local to Nashville

Black Educators Initiative (Nashville Teacher Residency)

“Nashville Teacher Residency received a $240,000 grant from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) to expand and improve its efforts to recruit and develop Black teachers for Metro Nashville Public Schools…. Nashville Teacher Residency [will] continue to create programming and supports that honor the dignity of our Black Residents as they develop into licensed teachers for Nashville’s schools. The BEI funds provide Residents with scholarships, affinity spaces, stipends, content development resources and are used to cover licensure exam fees. Additionally, NTR uses the funding to support our partner schools with the training necessary to create environments where Black Residents are respected, cared for, and valued.” 

Greater Nashville Alliance of Black School Educators  – GNABSE

“GNABSE is a group of professional educators aligned with the National Alliance of Black School Educators for the purpose of addressing issues that impact the success of children, particularly children of African descent. [They] strive to: advance the academic proficiency of all students, close the achievement gap, provide financial assistance through scholarships to students wishing to pursue a career in education, improvise graduation rates, [and] recognize and celebrate educators and community leaders for their exceptional work and leadership.”