I believe urban public education is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. A person’s zip code should not determine the quality of a child’s educational opportunity. In our urban areas, especially, educational injustice exists along economic and racial lines. This problem has reached epidemic proportions. Too many children are condemned to substandard educational opportunities based solely on where they live. Justice demands more.
On May 29, I spoke at a welcome dinner for 64 young men and women who have come to Memphis for one of the boldest, most creative responses to this crisis in education and justice. They have come from all over the nation to participate in Memphis Teacher Residency. They will spend a year in “on the front line” education and training, earning a Master’s Degree in Urban Teaching. Upon receiving their degrees, these young men and women will commit to teach in the Memphis public schools for at least three years. Here’s a testimonial video on the residency program:
The program is receiving attention and accolades from everywhere. I don’t know anything quite like it in our country. I urge you, check out the website, share the information with young people you know, and challenge them to join us in Memphis to help solve the greatest social justice and civil rights issue in America today. Wouldn’t it be just like God to use Memphis as a proving witness that education for all is possible?
I’m especially delighted that my granddaughter, Hannah, is a part of the program this year.