Black Mothers Felt Their Children Weren’t Being Seen. So They Made Their Own Microschools.

As the founder of Black Mothers Forum, Janelle Wood has listened to dozens of Black mothers talk about the discrimination and bullying their children faced. In response, she has created nine microschools to offer a supportive educational space for Black children in the Phoenix area.

At the Black Mothers Forum microschools, there are about five to 10 students per class, blended grade levels and personalized curriculum. The schools’ mission is to implement a school-to-purpose pipeline instead of a school-to-prison pipeline, where students of color can thrive.

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“They don’t have to try to figure out how to navigate something — there’s nothing to navigate,” Wood said. “You just walk in here and be who you’re going to be because the adults in the space honor you. The adults in the space see you. The adults in the space hear you. The adults in this space feel you and they are not going to move until you’re ready to move.”

Watch the video above to see how the Black Mothers Forum microschools are meeting the needs of Arizona’s Black families. Find out more about the schools here.