In the first workshop of BMEsTalk Fall 2021 Leadership Lab, attendees had the honor of hearing from several black male educators from across the world connected by our common passion of empowering brothers in the education industry.
Their words of wisdom and insight are still ringing in our ears so we wanted to do a quick recap to remind you of some of their most impactful statements.
MJ Sainfort, Primary ELL Specialist, China
MJ Sainfort has been living abroad for over 20 years and is currently residing in China as an ELL Specialist. He spoke to us about the power of community that he still feels even when he’s literally on the other side of the planet. His pride for other brothers coming up in the education field was evident as he reminisced about growing up in the United States and observed other black men thriving in his former communities.
With just a mention of watching a basketball game, he was taken back to the old days and looked on them with fondness while looking ahead with hope.His words reminded us all of the power and importance of seeing other black men influencing younger generations for the good and how those memories can last for a lifetime no matter how far life takes us. Hear more from MJ here.
Four Black Male Educators Discuss “Being On” as Black Men
One of the more sobering moments from this workshop came when Charles made the statement that black males, “can’t be articulate all the time…that’s a head space.
There’s other stuff that happens in the heart that has to come out as well”. This seemingly simple observation brought to light how heavy of a burden brothers can feel outside of their homes to constantly be on their game and on point and how crucial it is that we overcome this.
Another testimony was given saying the person never felt like they could just be a brother when at work, that they had to put on an armor.
By setting the agreement that we can’t be held to this kind of standard, a community agreement was formed as we were reminded that we already have our degrees and have nothing to prove.
Can we agree as black made educators that it’s time to take off this armor and be our authentic selves? We’ll never empower other BMEs if we’re not living boldly and authentically. Hear more from these four men here.
This article is entirely too short to summarize the greatness that we heard during this workshop but our goal is to whet your appetite enough for you to listen to the workshop in its entirety and to also tune in for future leadership labs.
The wisdom and knowledge that is shared during these workshops is actively changing the lives of brothers. It’s time for black male educators to learn from each other and step into the boldness that’s inside us so future BMEs will do the same.