Confessions of an Educated Man
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas
I admit it – I had it pretty good. Growing up in suburban Dallas, I attended good schools with good teachers and parents who came to PTA meetings. My mom was on the school board, my history teacher drove my bus and my biggest dilemmas were in the daily cafeteria line. Rarely was there a barrier to the education I needed.
Today, a quality education is no longer the norm. For many young minority men, the statistics are startling – less than 50% of African American and Latino young men will graduate from high school. When I moved to Memphis, I tutored a young man at one of the toughest high schools in the city. I couldn’t begin to understand the challenges he was up against. I tried to help him with his ACT test to get into college, but I am not sure he ever made it. I know there are millions just like him.
That’s why I am grateful FedEx committed to help Teach For America, the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools. Over the next month, FedEx executives from Newark to Memphis, Dallas to New York City, will be side-by-side with Teach For America corps members. They will be supporting the corps members who are working daily to remove barriers for young men and women to have every educational opportunity.
We also sponsored the recent Community Speaker Series in New York City entitled, “Men of Color and Education: A Discussion on the Pursuit of Excellence.” This event brought together community and industry leaders to discuss the educational disparities impacting young men of color and how to identify actionable solutions to help all students reach their potential. Participants in this interactive event included: Musicians Common and John Legend; educators David C. Banks, Dr. Marc Larmont Hill and Dr. Pedro Noguera; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; and NBA veteran Eric Snow.
Our commitment is to open doors for students to meaningfully participate in the global economy. We believe all children in America should have access to a high-quality education, providing opportunities for every person to create the world they want to live in.
That’s why I am proud FedEx supports Teach For America.
Check out David Bank’s blog: Reflections on Men of Color & Education