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James Barnett

Program Director

Why do you think educators are so important right now?  

Our nation is at an impasse. Young people are witnessing it without the proper relationships to process everything that is happening around them. The truth is, outside of their own home, one of the biggest role models in a young person’s life is standing at the front of the classroom. Educators are people to look up to and emulate. Nearly everyone has a teacher (in many cases, quite a few teachers) who they admired and who provided them with an example of how to conduct themselves.

What impact have you seen this program have on the community?  

Our program’s approach to finding teachers involves the community. We believe the community is already filled with people who are for the community. Our goal is to elevate the role they play in the community by offering a pathway to licensure. This approach helps us ensure the community is being supported internally.

What makes this program so special? 

Our program is one of the first of its kind, and we are creating an opportunity for people who aspire to become teaches but were not previously able to because of barriers like cost and time.

What does justice in education mean to you? 

Social justice education means that students gain a greater understanding of power dynamics, develop respect for cultures different from their own, and learn how to affect positive change in their communities.

What keeps you motivated in this work?  

We, I, are all the product of a quality education. Its important to me that other people have a chance to have a quality education