Updates & Events

March 25, 2020
SCS Equity & Access Office releases research in ASCD on Decolonizing Reading Instruction for Black Boys Access and equity in the classroom rests on beliefs and practices that empower all students to participate meaningfully. As such, it is vital for teachers and school leaders to pay more attention to the kinds of texts that children are reading.

March 22, 2020
SCS Names 2021 Black History Month Student Art Contest Winners
SCSs is celebrating the creative artistry of students in grades 3-12, from all cultural backgrounds, who submitted to the District’s Student Art & Literature Contest: Black History and I Matter Because.

January 18, 2021
Secure the Chalk: Educator Forum Focuses on Cultivating Black Male Educators
The SCS Equity Office held its latest Educator Forum on January 21, titled "Mending the Broken Pipeline: Investing Time, Energy & Cultivating Black Male Educators." The conversation included TN EDUCATORS OF COLOR ALLIANCE founder Dr. Diarese George and Man-Up founder Patrick Washington, along with SCS Director of Student Support Dr. Roderick Richmond.

January 18, 2021
SCS Equity Office Offers Perspective on Race in Sports & Education during Grizzlies MLK Day Discussion
The SCS Office of Equity had the unique opportunity to join the Memphis Grizzlies for its annual MLK Day forum. Equity Officer Dr. Michael Lowe joined the discussion, titled "Intersection of Race & Sports: Inequities in Education." He shared important perspective on how SCS is addressing inequities in education, from supporting efforts to ensure home care to providing reliable WiFi and digital devices to support virtual learning.

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 13, 2020
National Spotlight: USA Today Highlights SCS Efforts to Increase Male Teachers of Color
USA Today recently published an article, titled "‘Not happenstance’: Male teachers of color make a difference at Memphis schools." The article focuses on how Shelby County Schools is making it a priority to recruit, retain and support male teachers of color

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


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.

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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