These words couldn’t be more profound because of education’s long-lasting effects for generations. Among the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of the most powerful goal is SDG 4 on Education that calls to ensure ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. At Impact Hub Boston (IHB), we have several organizations that have risen to this call to promote equity in education. Let’s hear from those that focus on preparing the educators for the challenge: Re-imagining Immigration, The Teacher Collaborative, and Demetria Bridges.
Re-Imagining Migration is a nonprofit organization formed “to ensure that all young people grow up understanding migration as a fundamental characteristic of the human condition, in order to develop the knowledge, empathy and mindsets that sustain inclusive and welcoming communities,” according to its founding team.
Adam Strom, Director of Re-Imagining Migration, narrates the human migration story: migration has been part and parcel of the human history and while the migratory rate ebbs and flows, it is a ubiquitous phenomenon. As we have seen throughout history, in periods of mass migration, newcomers are often met with skepticism and distrust. Today in the U.S., 26% of children (under the age of 18) and 33% of young adults (between the ages of 18 and 32) have an immigrant parent.
Adam continues: Despite this rapid increase in young people from immigrant families and the challenging circumstances that they face, many adults that serve them do not necessarily understand them or feel ill-prepared to serve their needs. Concurrently, xenophobia and myths about immigration are on the rise, leading to misunderstandings about newcomers that sow divisions that undermine the social, economic, and democratic prospects for all. In the context of this global phenomenon, young people – whether they are part of an arriving or receiving culture – strive to form their identities as learners, community members, and change-makers.
At Re-Imagining Migration, the team believes that a fresh, new perspective on migration is a step forward and creating a platform that allows for the successful inclusion of students from all backgrounds is both a demographic and democratic imperative.
Understanding that the most effective way to ensure a positive educational experience for all students requires the creation of a culture that embraces migration in its rich complexities, the team strives to provide the adults who teach and guide young people with:
- new tools to think about migration in compassionate ways
- effective learning opportunities and resources
In addition, Re-Imagining Migration currently is working two initiatives that use a collaborative approach:
- a vibrant promising practices network of networks – comprised of educators from schools, informal educational settings such as libraries and museums, and social change organizations
- a robust national campaign addressing this new perspective to positively re-message migration in a way that fosters the academic, social, and emotional needs of immigrant-origin students and their peers.’
You can follow and get involved in their activities through their website or email Adam Strom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Teacher Collaborative
The Teacher Collaborative is a community – by teachers and for teachers – that fosters collaboration, empowers innovation, and creates meaningful professional learning opportunities for educators across Massachusetts.
Teachers are the number one school-based variable impacting student achievement, yet current professional development opportunities for educators are largely ineffective, leading to a lack of support for growth, innovation, and problem-solving and a high turnover rate in the teaching profession.
The Teacher Collaborative
Founded in 2017, the collaborative is a new non-profit built alongside teachers and school leaders whose input were invaluable as they developed their three core programs:
- Co-Labs for Innovation: cross-school inquiry groups that support educators to problem-solve together
- Educator Exchange: monthly in-person networking sessions focused on timely and relevant topics
- Virtual Community: a real-time online space that connects educators to their best resource: each other
Their mission is to make all schools better places to learn for students and work for teachers and school leaders. Maria Fenwick, the founder of the organization, adds “we provide resources and experiences that help teachers improve their craft so that they feel better prepared and supported, and more satisfied in their profession, which we believe will positively impact student learning in classrooms and schools across our state.’
‘Demetria Bridges has a passion to help individuals achieve inner success and has worked with educators, students, parents and mainstream businesses to foster emotional wellness of the individual for the last decade. Firmly believing that change is an individual discovery and that emotional wellness, which includes emotional literacy, intelligence and agency, happens only when there is self-awareness and self-examination, Demetria works with educators to cultivate a successful classroom culture by:
- helping their students to do their own work of behavioral road-mapping
- learning to listen to their true selves though tools that encourage self awareness and development
Having honed her wealth of experience in the field for 20 years, Demetria understands first hand the vital needs of emotional wellness in the private and public sectors. She is also a strong advocate for teacher self-care and is committed to advancing teacher wellness – a foundation she believes must be in place before social emotional learning can occur in the classroom.’