Ayanna Cooper of Language Magazine asks Ron Walker why COSEBOC prioritizes the social–emotional learning of young Black men.
There are a number of recent initiatives focused on the health and well-being of students, especially students from racially and linguistically diverse communities. The social–emotional needs of students must be addressed first before solely focusing on academics.
The dual pandemic of COVID-19 and racial reawakening sparked an interest in how students were coping, or not, inside and outside of their classrooms. The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), founded by Ron Walker, is an organization that committed to this cause long before the pandemic.
Walker started this work after a long, successful career as a teacher and principal, and his journey is an example of how it is never too late to do something, to do more, with the resources we have to improve the lives of others. I was fortunate enough to first hear Walker’s story and then interview him in order to learn more about his organization, the why behind the work, and how we can better support this generation of male students…
Ayanna Cooper, EdD, is the Pass the Mic series editor and owner of A. Cooper Consulting. She is the author of And Justice for ELs: A Leader’s Guide to Creating and Sustaining Equitable Schools (Corwin) and is currently a Massachusetts Education Policy Fellow at the Rennie Center in Boston (2022–2023)