On January 31, Breakthrough Collaborative CEO, Vince Marigna, represented the organization at a pivotal discussion on teacher diversity and equitable learning, hosted by the White House Special Initiatives and the US Department of Education. Alongside esteemed colleagues like Dr. Lisa Herring, Tasha Joyner, LaTisha Nicole Vaughn, Eric Stallings, and US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, they examined the barriers facing Black teachers and the invaluable perspectives they bring to education.

“The historic setting of Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina, the first school in the state to integrate, added a profound layer to our conversation. Reflecting on Charleston’s rich history in the fight for racial equity, I’m grateful that such an important dialogue unfolded in a place so deeply connected to our nation’s journey,” said Marigna.

As the largest pre-professional teacher training program in the country, Breakthrough provides young people an on-ramp into teaching and prepares them to succeed as educators. Each year, we recruit more than 1,000 college students from over 250 colleges and universities, providing them a hands-on, immersive classroom experience teaching middle and high school students and learning from professional staff and experienced educators.

Breakthrough is helping build a more diverse teacher workforce, reflecting our nation’s classrooms. Just 20% of public school teachers in the U.S. are people of color, while more than half are students of color. More than 78% of our Teaching Fellows are students of color, of which nearly 35% identify as Black or African American. 

We look forward to continued opportunities to lend insights and learn how we can further support aspiring educators of color – providing them the skills, knowledge, and support to enter the classroom, remain in the classroom, and thrive.