The success of the our Portland Chapter in their multicultural education initiatives the Portland school system launched in a new era of educational reforms. In their efforts to have the various ethnic and cultural groups more honestly represented in the curriculum in the Portland school system, they sought to have each group have a say in the determination of how they were portrait. In particular, they sought to determine how African Americans were depicted. They commissioned several scholars in Black studies to write a series of essays on the role of Blacks in world history. These essays became known as the Portland Baseline Essays. And their impact helped launched what became known as the African Centered Education Movement.
This movement has three levels of approach:
The NBUF chapters work with the public school districts in their respective cities to get African centered material introduced into the curriculum, and to establish schools with an African centered theme. They offer assistance in obtaining scholars to help in the training of teachers in these materials. The NBUF chapters help organize communities to elect schools board representatives who are responsive to the needs of African American students, who often are in the majority in their districts. They also provide community support and suggest reference materials.
Among the notable work in this aspect of the African Centered Education Movement is that of the Detroit and Kansas City chapters. Both have been successfully involved in getting responsive people elected to their school boards, having African centered material introduced into their curricula, and having schools operating with an African centered theme.
The Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI) is an organization of privately owned and run independent schools that practice an African centered theme. NBUF works closely with CIBI, and both organizations are mutually supportive of each other.
In schools like those in CIBI the African centered themes can be found in full flower. They consistently produce students who are well motivated and who score well on scholastic aptitude tests. It is schools like these that serve as proving grounds for the development of techniques that effectively motivate, educate, and help African American youth become more centered, more culturally conscious, and more determined to live a meaningful life.
NBUF encourages all those interested in establishing and operating African centered private schools to consult with members of CIBI.
Supplementary schools consists of organizations who offer after schooland weekend tutoring, mentoring, rites of passage, etc. to our youth. Many ofour chapters are engaged in one or more of these activities. NBUF also cooperates with other organizations who are providing these services to our youth.
Among the most successful after school and weekend tutoring programs in the nation is the highly acclaimed W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center in KansasCity, MO. NBUF considers the DuBois Learning Center to be the model for supplementary education, and encourages anyone or organization interested in such activity to make contact with the Learning Center.