Lamajhe Miles is the man of his house. He lives in Meadowview with his mom and younger sister, and feels a responsibility to both of them. But he has other responsibilities, too. The 16-year-old is a student at Luther Burbank High School, where last year he struggled to make the grades to play football this season. Pauline Bartolone, reporter and host of CapRadio’s Making Meadowview, followed his progress throughout his sophomore year for the latest podcast episode.
Now, Lamajhe is a junior at Luther Burbank, where he’s enrolled in the school’s Men’s Leadership Academy. It’s a class made up of black male students in different grades, of varying skill levels.
Antoine Germany teaches the class, which he says “seeks to promote personal responsibility, create awareness of social and racial injustices and promote advocacy and leadership for young men of color.” It covers topics including mass incarceration, toxic masculinity, identity and racism. Germany is also head of Luther Burbank’s English department. He spoke with EdWeek recently on the impact of having more teachers of color in schools.
The class is based on research linking lower dropout rates among African-American boys with access to school programs that target their needs. A recent Stanford Graduate School of Education study demonstrated the effectiveness of a similar program in Oakland.