Nonprofit leader, BLU Educational Foundation, committed to advancing equity in public education for Black students in the Inland Empire has released the Inland Empire Black Education Agenda, in partnership with the University of California, Riverside’s Center of Innovation.
The Inland Empire Black Education Agenda shares the top priorities and recommendations for public education institutions and leaders interested in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in public education.
On Thursday, Feb. 18 the partnership convened education, nonprofit and community leaders, and stakeholders from across the Inland Empire and introduced the education agenda for Black students. Priorities in the plan were derived from a survey of over ten nonprofit organizations and more than 1,000 Black families living in the Inland Empire. The survey explored concerns, opportunities, and supports needed for Black student success in San Bernardino and Riverside county schools.
“The Black Education Agenda has been in development for over three years and is a community effort. Elders, youth, educators, and the community have all contributed to the culmination of the report. This is an investment in the future of our students and families across the Inland Empire,” said Dina Walker, founder and CEO of BLU Educational Foundation.
Survey respondents expressed some of their top priorities were to include a more culturally relevant curriculum in K-12 education about the history, culture, and contributions of Black people throughout the Diaspora. Also, respondents would like to see more high-quality Black educators and administrators hired. According to the California Department of Education, African American teachers, counselors, and administrators make up just 4% of all certificated faculty in California.
The research found in a meta-analysis of teachers’ expectations for different racial minority students (Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007) found that teachers have lower expectations for Black students than all other students. Latino students receive slightly higher expectations than Black students, while White and Asian students receive the highest expectations. “This is one of the key reasons why educator diversity, combined with cultural competency, is paramount to the success of Black, Indigenous, and students of color,” says Walker.
BLU Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Bernardino, California, committed to providing education and human services programming to youth, adults, and organizations to build healthy, productive communities. BLU began its work in 2001 in response to the challenges with higher education faced by families with limited income and limited opportunities in California’s Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties).
Currently, BLU Educational Foundation manages multiple education and civic engagement programs that create a comprehensive approach to providing equity in public education and career and college access to Black, Indigenous, and communities of color in the Inland Empire.