The National Fellowship for Black and Latino Male Educators (NFBLME) is helping to ensure Black and Latino students and teachers see themselves represented in influential leadership positions while creating a diverse talent pipeline for generations to come.
Projections show by 2024, most students in US school systems will be Black or Latino — while only 13% of current principals are Black or Latino men.
NFBLME is working to change that. Founded in 2020, the organization strives to create a dynamic and empowering space for Black and Latino men that springboards them into principal, C-suite, and other leadership roles throughout the education sector. By helping to increase representation, NFBLME aims to create a national self-sustaining talent pipeline and improve outcomes for students.
Representation matters for kids. Representation also matters for adults. When I walk into a room and I see someone who looks like me, I automatically say, ‘OK, I could do that.’Keith Brooks, Founder and Program Director Partner, NFBLME
Areas of Opportunity
NFBLME has identified the following opportunities for greater representation of Black and Latino men:
- Ensuring Students See Themselves Reflected in Positions of Influence. Forty-eight percent of school-aged children are Black or Latino, but many of them do not see themselves reflected within school leadership. Over the past three decades, the gap between the number of Black students and Black principals has stagnated and the gap between the number of Latino students and Latino principals has grown wider.
- Retaining Black and Latino Male Teachers in American Classrooms. Greater representation of Black and Latino men in leadership positions would improve schools’ retention of male Black and Latino teachers. Research shows teachers are significantly less likely to turnover when they are of the same ethnicity as the principal.
- More Representation of Black and Latino Males in C-Suite Positions. Research shows that most chief executive officers within the U.S. are not Black or Latino. Only 3% of the chief executive officers are Black, while 7% are Latino.
Fostering a Self-Sustaining Talent Pipeline
To address underrepresentation and its downstream effects, NFBLME has developed programming with three fellowship tracks: one for emerging leaders, one for senior leaders, and one for aspiring C-level leaders and entrepreneurs.
Each track includes professional development sessions across four pillars: instructional leadership, self-awareness through conscious emotional intelligence work, community and connection, and career and organizational coaching. NFBLME also offers one-on-one executive coaching and community events, as well as tailored support for guiding fellows through career milestones.
Currently, the organization has two cohorts of fellows engaging in its core programming. After they complete the program, cohorts are enrolled in an alumni program where they’ll have lifelong access to support.
The goal is to empower Black and Latino education professionals to achieve leadership roles, thereby closing the gap between the number of diverse students and teachers, reducing turnover, and helping diverse students see themselves in successful career paths.
Leveling Up Careers and Expanding Impact
NFBLME measures its success through its fellows’ promotions. Currently, the fellowship is aiming for 90% of fellows to be promoted within three years of starting a program. After fellows earn a promotion, the organization offers targeted support to help them thrive in their new roles, while partnering with their employers to ensure a clear pathway to success.
Within its first two years, NFBLME has impacted thousands of students through the work of its fellows. And, by 2025, the organization is projected to include 150 active participants and establish partnerships with districts, networks, and other organizations. By expanding its impact, NFBLME hopes to create a continuous cycle of attracting leaders into the education sector, supporting them through career advancement, and ensuring they positively impact the next generation of students.