Maine Black Educators Collective (MBEC) is an initiative of Dr. Larissa Malone, assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department, School of Education and Human Development at USM. The mission of MBEC is to support Black educators in the state of Maine through educational opportunities and social-emotional connection.
MBEC was founded in response of the critical needs of Black educators across Maine. Maine is one of the least racially diverse states (Fishell, 2017), despite a five-fold increase of the Black population that is largely due to diasporic immigration (Dickstein et al., 2017). This has increased the number of non-White students to about 10 percent, whereas less than three percent of educators identify as non-White, meaning an even smaller percent of educators identify as Black (ACLU, 2017; NCES, 2019). This has largely allowed for Black educators in Maine to be ignored. Research tells us how important it is to support Black educators, because Black students benefit from having Black educators (Carter-Thomas, 2018; Easton-Brooks, 2019), Black educators often implement culturally responsive teaching (Delpit, 2006; Gay, 2018; Ladson-Billings, 1995), and Black educators address racial social justice in the classroom (Au, 2009; hooks, 1994). This project supports this critical population that is most likely to experience anti-Blackness, in the context of a shifting cultural landscape.
The Collective launched with a five-part speaker series in Spring 2021.
In the Summer of 2021 MBEC sponsored a book series session.