2022 Grants Challenge

The Teacher Village Initiative

The Teacher Village Initiative is a multifaceted program that builds a bridge for undergraduate students as they are recruited out of college, complete teacher education programs, and settle into teaching careers.The Initiative supplements existing teacher education programs with professional support, housing, peer connections, and training in the soft skills needed to build effective relationships with students and their community.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

City of Los Angeles

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Public school teachers in the U.S. remain predominantly white. Only 20% of teachers are of color while 56% of students are. A miniscule 2% of teachers are Black men. These disparities are actually increasing as the student population diversifies faster than the teaching profession. California is one of many states where the gap is particularly striking: 35% of teachers but 77% of the students are people of color. More than 78,000 Black students in the state attend schools that have no Black teachers. Teacher Village, will highlight a comprehensive and culturally-affirming approach to recruiting, developing, and retaining African American public school teachers. It will include programming that addresses the specific realities faced by Black men, many of whom need to heal from the trauma they experienced in the educational system as they prepare to become teachers themselves.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The Teacher Village addresses these challenges through a multifaceted multi-year program that I am piloting in South Los Angeles. The Village provides professional community, social connection, and housing for Black college graduates while they are earning their credentials. ● Engages college seniors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and local colleges in Los Angeles to encourage them to consider a career in education, and offers a Summer Village program in their senior year to help them explore the field. ● Features a two-year Teacher Village Fellowship. After graduating from college, Fellows move into housing provided by the program, participate in a pre-service Summer Institute, and then work as teaching assistants under master teachers as they earn their teaching credential through our partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the CalStateTEACH credentialing programs. ● Addresses the emotional, cultural, and soft skills development that are not the strength of the credentialing programs. The Village supplements those programs with additional workshops, professional mentoring, and peer support from within the cohort. ● Provides housing until a new teacher is fully certified and has secured a teaching position. As they near completion, Fellows will also be connected to workshops and resources for first-time home owners and encouraged to work towards buying a home in the community.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Teacher Village is unique in the way that it connects all of the elements outlined above.The success of our Teacher Village pilot has the potential to inspire community activists and school districts across the country and may have implications for efforts to overcome racial exclusion in other aspects of society. As our first Fellows secure their teaching credentials during the 2023-24 school year we will share our approach through communication tools including professional quality short videos, op-ed essays, workshops and webinars. These outreach efforts will shine a light on the history of segregation and exclusion in the education profession, today’s racial disparities, and the logic of our comprehensive community-based approach to recruiting and developing Black teachers. Our initiative will have an impact on the public school system in Los Angeles by closing the pipeline of Black male educators in elementary schools while providing affordable housing. professional educators.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Measure1: Short videos, op-ed piece, and webinars tell the story of the inaugural cohort of Teacher Village Fellows, the logic of the program design. Communications will pay particular attention to lifting up the voices of Black men entering the teaching profession. Measure 2: Racial justice groups, education reform organizations, and school districts express interest in the expansion of the Teacher Village model to their communities. Measure3: Between 3 - 5 of the inaugural Fellows cohort secure their teaching credentials and are placed a local Los Angeles public elementary schools in LAUSD Measure 4: 3-5 Fellows secure housing for purchase in the neighborhood where they are serving.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 5

Indirect Impact: 150