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A new landscape for educators of color in North Carolina

On Dec. 10, educators, policymakers, advocates, and others will gather on the campus of NC State University for the DRIVE Summit, which stands for Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education. The event, co-hosted by the Office of the Governor, The Hunt Institute, and the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, will tackle topics ranging from the history of racial and ethnic diversity in education, to the recruiting, preparing, retaining, and impact of educators of color.

Today, we are taking a look back at some of our coverage of educators of color over the last few years. Click here to see our full archive of content on equity. Click here to read a collection of first-person perspectives from educators of color.


If you’re an educator of color in North Carolina, we want to hear from you. What motivated you to join the field? What sparked your interest in the profession? And now, what will it take to keep you in education? Share your story with us below.

Note: Your comments will only be published publicly if you expressly grant EdNC.org permission in the second question of this survey.


In January 2018, we published a short film series titled “Equity Meets Education” that explored racial equity in North Carolina schools through the lives and perspectives of some of the state’s black male leaders.

Donnell Cannon, principal of North Edgecombe High School, shares how he and his staff use “equity work” to open possibilities for students’ futures.

Equity Meets Education: Donnell Cannon

Jason Terrell, co-founder and executive director of Profound Gentlemen, explains his vision for supporting male educators of color socially and professionally.

Equity Meets Education: Jason Terrell

James Ford — from world history teacher to 2014 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, from program director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina to a member of the State Board of Education — describes how his childhood and teaching experiences inform his role in fighting for educational equity. 

Equity Meets Education: James Ford

This year, Ford launched the Center for Racial Equity in Education: CREED. Learn more about the center in this podcast.

Podcast | What’s next for James Ford and CREED, the Center for Racial Equity in Education

In this piece, Student U Executive Director Alexandra Zagbayou and Village of Wisdom Executive Director William Jackson share their organizations’ strategies in creating educational opportunities for underserved students and families in Durham. 

Equity Meets Education: Durham leaders share on-the-ground work


In December 2018, we highlighted the work of Rebrand NC Education. Created by two school leaders of color, Yasmeen Robbins and Mary Hemphill, the organization works to provide North Carolina school leaders with a digital platform that will serve as a resource for professional development and a collection of best practices from across the state.

Watch: Two NC administrators create platform for school leaders


In August 2019, we published “E(race)ing Inequities: The State of Racial Equity in North Carolina Public Schools” by the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED). Go here to read the full report and to find all content related to the report, including the companion report on the history of race in North Carolina — Deep Rooted.

This excerpt from the report explores the prevalence of students having a teacher of the same race/ethnicity, as well as the impact of race on a variety of other teacher characteristics and qualifications.

E(race)ing Inequities: Teacher qualifications, experience, retention, and racial/ethnic match


Educators of color need “runway” for innovations to take hold. In November 2019, Donnell Cannon spoke with the State Board of Education asking for just that. 

“We need the runway and the guardrails to innovate in a really big way,” said Cannon. “That’s my big ask for you guys. Create the runway so that we all can get there together.”


Stay tuned to EdNC.org for the rest of the week as we continue to explore the topic of educators of color.

Analisa Sorrells

Analisa Sorrells is the chief of staff and associate director of policy for EducationNC.