Updates & Events

September 8, 2020
Secure the Chalk: SCS Educators Learn to Create "Healing Spaces"
SCS is committed to unity, inclusion and revamping educational and mentoring opportunities for male students of color. In preparation for the new school year, the District's "Secure the Chalk" forum this summer focused on equipping SCS educators to create academic and social "healing spaces."

March 2, 2020
African American Male Empowerment Progress Update
Last summer, Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray, along with our School Board, launched the African-American Male Empowerment Initiative. This effort will strategically propel our African-American boys to become our next generation of scholars and leaders through EQUITY, EDUCATION, and EMPOWERMENT. This video highlights the progress made and how we are aiming to change the odds for students in need.

February 28, 2020
Lift Every Voice and Listen Event
Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray, along with our School Board, hosted a community event to celebrate Black History Month and to share the progress of our African American Male Empowerment efforts. This video summarizes this fantastic event while highlighting our students, schools, and teachers..

February 6, 2020
SCS partners with U of M to launch the African American Male Academy

Thursday, February 5, 2020
SCS Hosts Third Secure the Chalk Session

December 17, 2019
MIFA Community Service Project
Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray, along with our School Board, teamed with African-American male students and MIFA to deliver meals to those in need around our community.

Monday, December 9, 2019
SCS Secure The Chalk Educator Fellowship Aims To Diversify And Support Teaching Force

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Superintendent Ray delegates "Equity Champions" Across the District

Monday, July 22, 2019
Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray Launches Groundbreaking African-American Male Initiative

Our Boys Need Us


Black History Month Essay Contest

Celebrating Black History Month in the 901 – Essay Contest


In 300 words or less, please describe how African Americans have helped to define Memphis’ heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions to the broader society.

In 500 words or less, think of an African American historical figure whose life and works you wish you knew more. After doing some research on this person, write an essay describing his or her life, work, and historical importance. Try to show not only what makes the person unique in general but also how racial identity influenced his or her life.

This is some sample content.

We believe the future of Memphis is defined by the success of our students, and that success must come to all – not just some. Consistently, our African American males are getting left behind. They are more likely than their peers to be economically disadvantaged, graduate at lower rates, have lower attendance and earn lower ACT scores. In light of this, on July 22, 2019 Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray launched a groundbreaking initiative, African American Male Empowerment. The program will strategically propel our African-American boys to become our next generation of scholars and leaders through EQUITY, EDUCATION and EMPOWERMENT. Our boys need us - all of us - to help bridge the gap.

Our Boys Needs Us Icon

How will you commit to our boys?



Ensure access & exposure to rigorous instruction

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Intensify restorative practices

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Recruit African-American male teachers in grades K-5

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Build “Band of Brothers” to support mentoring & tutoring programs

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Create an Equity Institute for professional learning

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Leverage an Equity Task Force

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Establish an Equity Office

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In most cases, African-American male students are performing at a lower level than their peers, accessing advanced programs at a lower rate or experiencing critcal issues that impact achievement.

66% are economically disadvantaged

41% of total student absences

50% more likely to be suspended or expelled than peers

50% more likely to be enrolled in an alternative school

50% less likely to be enrolled in CLUE

4 points lower than average graduation rate

17% meeting state standards for Math

14% meeting state standards for English/Language Arts

5% participate in AP courses

50% more likely to require special education