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Empowering Student Success Coaches at the Black Men in Education Convening

Last month, City Year Buffalo sent two of our Student Success Coaches, Earle-Wesley Hackett and Ephraim Collins, to the Black Men in Education Convening (BMEC) in Philadelphia. Earle-Wesley and Ephraim are teammates on the Persistence Preparatory Academy team and serve in 5th grade classrooms. Both have demonstrated tremendous growth in their roles and a deep-seated commitment to their students.  


Earle-Wesley’s Reflections on Attending BMEC 

Attending the Black Men in Education Convening was an enriching experience that left an indelible impact on my professional growth and perspective. The opportunity to connect with Black educators from across the nation was not only inspiring but also provided valuable insights into diverse teaching methodologies and strategies. The shared experiences and success stories highlighted the resilience and innovation within the Black education community, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. 

One of the key takeaways from the conference was the emphasis on culturally responsive teaching practices. The sessions delved into the importance of recognizing and embracing cultural diversity in the classroom, creating an inclusive environment that caters to the unique needs of each student. This resonated deeply with me as it reinforced the notion that effective teaching goes beyond the curriculum—it involves understanding and valuing the cultural backgrounds of students to create a truly supportive learning space. 

The conference introduced me to a myriad of resources, from innovative teaching tools to community-based initiatives, which I am eager to explore further. The shared materials and best practices exchanged during workshops and presentations will undoubtedly shape my future teaching approach. 

Several speakers at the event left a lasting impression on me. One speaker emphasized the power of mentorship and community involvement in education, stressing the importance of building strong support networks for both students and educators. This resonated with my belief in the transformative impact of mentorship, and I am inspired to foster a more supportive community within my school. 

In conclusion, the content of the conference has significantly impacted my approach. I am excited to incorporate newfound knowledge and strategies into my daily practice, creating a more inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment. This conference has not only broadened my professional network but has also ignited a passion for continuous learning and improvement in the field of education. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to sharing these insights with my colleagues and students alike. 


Ephraim’s Impactful Experience at BMEC 

My name is Ephraim, and this is my first year at City Year Buffalo. I’m originally from Texas, so my City Year experience has been quite an exciting rollercoaster. The most exciting experience so far in the City Year was attending BMEC in Philadelphia. As one of the only few African American Corps members at City Year Buffalo, being able to go to the 2023 BMEC event was a phenomenal experience where I was able to connect and learn how to navigate the school system better as an African American educator.  

I spent the whole time at the conference in different breakout rooms and connecting with other peers at the conference.  The first session, and my favorite session, featured a panel of three educators. Each one of the panelists had different work experience with diverse demographics. It was really empowering to watch hundreds of Black educators in one room and listen to different perspectives. Over the next two days, there was great food and more exciting and informative speakers in breakout rooms. 

My primary goal in attending BMEC 2023 was to connect and build relationships with other Black educators, so I focused most of my time on talking to people when I was not in a breakout session. I had some interesting, in-depth conversations with Dr. Greg Carr, who is an award-winning professor at Howard University. Dr. Carr answered some questions I had about relationship-building with students and even offered his contact information. I am so grateful for the opportunity City Year Buffalo has provided me with this experience.    


To learn more about the Center for Black Educator Development and BMEC, check out

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