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Detroit teacher says Black representation in schools has ‘revolutionizing effect’

Detroit teacher says schools need more Black representation -- especially from men

DETROIT – Detroit teacher Quan Neloms is from the heart of Detroit and began working in the education system as a school volunteer in the late 1990s.

Neloms went on to become an official educator in the early 2000s. Once thing he’s noticed since his journey began is the lack of Black men in the school system -- and, for the sake of our youth, that has to change.

“The main thing is that we want to impress on Black men (is) that you are needed,” Neloms said.

The educator has been seen on multiple platforms but now he’s hoping to encourage more men of color to step into the classroom.

“Being involved in education, in the field of education as black men. It definitely has a revolutionizing effect,” said Neloms.

Neloms discovered his new-found purpose in life when he realized Black children, especially young boys, have little-to-no role models that look like them in the schools.

“Men are 2% of the teaching population in the nation. But we do know what those small numbers, is that may have a deepening impact on the school culture,” Neloms said. “Black children, when they have representation in the classroom, they see themselves and their teachers they tend to come to school more they tend to, you know, a tendency improves.”

As a younger educator, Neloms has been able to use the art of hip-hop during an after school program called the Lyricist Society to connect with his students.

The teacher also created an organization called In Demand, whose aim is to help older Black men make a positive impact on future leaders in the Black community. He believes it’s going to take all hands on deck to really make a difference.

“Being involved in the lives of young people needs to be a part of every Black man’s lifestyle,” Neloms said. “We definitely need to have representation in the spirit of education.”

In Demand is hosting an event on Saturday at the Durfee Athletic Field next to the Durfee Innovation Society to recruit more Black male teachers.

If you’d like to get involved, click here.

Click here for more posts from Local 4′s ‘Spirit of Detroit: Fulfilling the Dream’ Special, where we address racism in America and how to effect real change in our communities.