When we teach, we reach.
In our increasingly interconnected world, tomorrow’s leaders must be collaborative thinkers, global citizens who embrace diversity. They will be expected to bridge cultures and continents and believe that leaders come from all walks of life.
But students in Charlottesville and Albemarle County perceive a different truth entirely.
For every 122 students there is only one African American teacher.
The absence of diverse teaching staffs affects every one of our children. They rarely witness cross-cultural collaboration, hardly benefit from diverse mentorship. A generation is growing up without an appreciation of cultural differences, without understanding that despite our varied experience, our similarities unite us.
African American students suffer the most: in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, they are three times more likely to drop out of school than their white peers. They lack mentors who share their sociological and cultural roots, who can address the needs of a diverse student population.