Group of people seated panel style on a stage, smiling and posing together.
Dean Marvin Lynn (far left) with panel speakers from the conference.

Dean Marvin Lynn Puts New CU Denver Program in Focus at National Conference

The Call Me MiSTER program provides full scholarships and monthly stipends to future Black male teachers.

May 8, 2024

The education field needs to build a more diverse workforce that can help foster equitable outcomes, create environments where everyone feels supported, and invigorate aspirational learning goals in diverse communities. This need is so critical across the country that the White House convened a conference in Colorado to discuss the topic on Monday, April 29

CU Denver’s Dean Marvin Lynn, PhD, was invited to speak at the Power Up event to provide thought leadership on the topic and promote the university’s new Call Me MiSTER teacher education initiative. The program aims to provide guidance and support for African American men who are pursuing a teaching career. It provides full scholarships, plus a monthly stipend, and CU Denver is currently recruiting future Black male teachers from around the United States for the program.  

At the conference, Lynn explained why recruiting more Black male educators is essential to the well-being and vitality of communities nationwide. He shared how important it was for him to have Black educators as mentors from kindergarten through graduate school. He explained that these teachers can have a real impact by exemplifying what excellence looks like, breaking down cultural barriers, challenging biases, improving curriculum, supporting social-emotional learning, and sparking life-changing career trajectories.  

Dean Marvin Lynn speaking at the conference.
Dean Marvin Lynn.

Lynn said Black educators can help school districts innovate, think outside the box, and build the soft and critical skills needed for high-demand jobs. In addition, he discussed the national movement to increase teachers’ pay. He also mentioned an important educational partnership with the Black Ministerial Alliance in the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, which is highlighted in a book by Peter C. Murrell called The Community Teacher: A New Framework for Effective Urban Teaching. Lynn described how the religious leaders’ partnership with the local teacher education program resulted in a curriculum shift toward more effective teaching practices. “Black individuals nationwide need to have education as a top priority,” said Lynn. 

These were exactly the kind of messages that organizers of the Black Educator Roundtable for the White House Initiative for Black Americans’ Power Up Series wanted to amplify. “It’s important for us to go directly into the community and engage with Black students, Black educators, Black families, as well as Black business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Alexis K. Holmes, executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans.  

She and her team designed the conference—part of a series being held across the country—to bring inspiration, information, and innovation directly into Black communities and to provide a safe space for everyone to network while advancing educational equity and economic opportunity in diverse communities. 

This article was co-written by Julia Cummings and Love Angelly Aritus