Our Boys Need Us/>


Shelby County Schools will build a Band of Brothers to support mentoring and tutoring programs. Our boys need to experience a beloved community by ZIP Code where they are surrounded by positive role models. Every day these boys must see law-abiding men, making a good life for themselves through hard, honest work. We seek 100 male tutors and mentors through literacy to scale our success.

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.

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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