Buying Black Includes Businesses Partnering with Schools in Black Communities!

If every business in Atlanta partnered with local schools in some way, we would cover each school, early learning center, after school program and day care supporting children.

Tune into Family Reunion, hosted by EdLanta, Monday, November 30, 2020, 6 p.m. EST as we continue this conversation on Black communities, schools and families in Family Reunion.

But it’s not this simple as the business sector looks at education many times as “charity” and not sustainable ability. Too often we focus on preparing Black youth for the workplace but not do the work to improve work environments for them!

Under the current climate of our country, there is an ever-increasing need for every business to partner with local schools. Matters such as the increases in drop out rates, lower literacy rates and disproportionate numbers of Black boys in special education programs impacts our greater society.

Other than the reasoning of “businesses just should”, there are other important reasons why businesses should partner with schools. But let me be clear. Black schools in areas that lack community development, are drenched in poverty, crime and food desserts need the support of businesses and not just with hand outs!

If you’re looking give during this holiday season, here are three reasons why buying Black includes businesses partnering with schools in Black communities!


I learned through a system called the Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) in the City of Atlanta by the first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson, that the business sector influences our communities and schools more than we know.

Several LLC’s, private investment companies and businesses own property in Black communities. Properties that often times are left poorly maintained attributing to the blight and crime in Black communities.

One of the growing corporate buzzwords of today is Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. CSR is a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social). If businesses truly want to help, they can a) partner with schools to develop training centers in Black communities b) use the land for community gardens to combat food desserts and c) provide spaces for Black owned mental health clinics in these communities.

Since a CSR platform in education is likely to not only support local schools, but also lead to a greater return of investment and a sense of pride by truly investing in fixing the systemic issues Black communities face.


During the pandemic, Atlanta and then the Nation watched as Black youth were criminalized for selling bottled water on street corners to survive.

Many of these youth have spoken to the face that many school programs are really preparing them for college or career. One Atlanta student of our EdLanta Student Coalition stated, “We are being pushed to graduate high school as successful as possible!” As a teacher, to me this says that we are doing everything to look good on paper but aren’t really prepared to survive in global competitive market.

Surprisingly, there are many students who start at the high school level with serious prep for college and career pathways . It starts at the Pre-K level in many places but not effectively for all students. We have overlooked generational poverty in this preparation. Chances of success is even harder for Black students who come from families who do not have anyone who successfully completed high school or entered higher education.

Businesses are needed to educate students and families about various careers available for students after graduation and for parents right now.

Black students tend to be highly receptive to receiving career education from individuals working in their fields. We have to embrace all jobs in the workforce and not just the ones that come with “clout”. Clout meaning the big titles and check. By no means am I blocking our Black youths bag, I’m simply highlighting that being a barber/beautician who owns their own shop is just a important as those who go out to be elected officials, entertainers or even lawyers.

Expanding the reach of the workforce to Black youth in the hood can be done through businesses’ participation in school career days, field trips to business sites, shadowing and serving on school advisory boards.


Supporting Black businesses that pour into Black schools is important too! After reading the PowerNomics series this year, I’ve learned that equity continues to be an issues in Black schools and communities because of ownership.

If Black students are suppressed in school, then they can stay oppressed in society.

When Black students achieve their goals in education, everyone benefits. We all win! I want the students we are failing simply because of their skin color, being overlooked and under supported to win too. These students are trapped in communities who have been failed because of the lack of growth.

Business involvement helps communities to grow. It shows relevance to Black students when they see their communities begin to thrive with people who look like them. Representation matters in community growth.

Look at the influence of hip hop, sports and reality tv on our youth and society. I believe Black students are more motivated to get an education and more aware of how it correlates to success when exposed to business.

CTAE programs reflects evidence that links business involvement with fewer dropout rates. Furthermore, when Black students see the relevance for pursuing a career in a specific industry, they are motivated not only to stay in school but to do their best to get into the field. This helps create positive growth within the community over the long-term.

Tune into Family Reunion, hosted by EdLanta, Monday, November 30, 2020, 6 p.m. EST as we continue this conversation on Black communities, schools and families in Family Reunion.


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