Black Leaders in Education Inspire Change in Broward College Students

Megan VinebergEditor-In-Chief

The Minority Teacher’s Association brings us the Black Leaders In Education meeting in honor of Black History Month. 

The Minority Teacher Association began as a conversation between the host and one of his students who expressed his observation in the school systems of not seeing enough representation across the board. The student had gone through the K-12 school system, not having met a Black or Hispanic teacher until he decided to pursue his education at Broward College. 

The panel of speakers included Interim Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and the previous dean of ACHD Pathways, Dr. Jamonica Rolle; Janice Stubbs, Vice Provost of Student Services; and Dr. Richard Louis, Adjunct professor of Education.

MTA Club President Gabrielle Summers said in her opening statement, “Thank you for being part of this important conversation in the education profession. We do this for the sake of our students. Not only have our speakers been mentors for [the students] but especially so for black students. Additional support for black students is essential …  they need  guidance when navigating what it means being part of the most repressed minority group in the nation, and being part of that community. “

Summers opened the floor to VP Stubbs, “It’s an honor to have conversations with students who are passionate about education. It’s important to be a role model to our students … but also for those who are not our students so that they can get a better picture of what it means to be a nlack professional, a black female, [and] black in America.” 

She added, “To whom much is given, much is required. Certainly, professionalism and having integrity stand out to me when I think about being an educator. It’s important to be thoughtful of how you present yourself out in the world.” 

Dr. Rolle chimed in, “I learn from others to be able to do what I am doing now. In terms of virtues, be true to your word. Your word is all you have–and when people know that they can count on you–it matters. Being brave enough to admit when you’re wrong, or you aren’t able to keep your word or you have to step back from what you originally said, those things are important, but it’s also important to share our stories, to learn from them, and for us to learn from your stories. In hearing the students’ stories, I am floored in how much they have overcome. As mentors, we’re there to listen, and not always be quick to speak. Tell us how you feel, and to think about what we need to do to better support you, which involves listening carefully.” 

Dr. Louis echoed the thoughts of his colleagues while providing insight to improve processes at the college. “As a mentor, you want to have tough love with your students to keep them accountable. You should have a passion for what you’re teaching to bring out the best in your students. Through you and what we are learning together, that what is [seems to be] impossible, is possible. They should be bringing their authentic self to the classroom to bring one from good to great.” 

Dr. Louis reported on his podcast Second Chance Coaching with Dr. Louis, that he created the NNmadi Richard Louis Memorial Scholarship Fund in order to recognize the unique challenges of those students who have faced unique challenges and hardship when pursuing their education. 

Students qualify if one or both parents is (or has been) incarcerated in a state or federal institution. 

Naturally, Dr. Louis was also appointed to the Board of Directors by the Florida Justice Center. Dr. Louis is all about turning obstacles into opportunities. In December of last year, Louis officially became a first time homeowner. He emphasized the importance of nourishment in minority teachers and students who are the backbone of the faculty and staff at Broward College. 

Dr. Louis explains, “I pride myself on being a business leader with the ability to drive employee engagement and student retention. I train, guide and develop individuals as leaders.”

BC students pose for the Miami Times in hopes of opening a new NAACP
student chapter. Image courtesy of Professor Robert Morris.