The Black Education Strategy Roundtable (BESR) is the only Washington based organization with a specific focus on the education of Black/African American students. Through advocacy and in coalition with others, we work to improve public education from early learning through higher education. The BESR’s formation was made necessary because our society still bears the legacy of a long history of racism, exclusion, inequities, disparities and low expectations for Black/African American students. For decades, the public education system has not adequately responded to remedy this situation. This persistent challenge is deeply harmful to the Black/African American community, our state, our nation, and our democracy. With every passing year, the damage mounts and the danger to our future grows more acute. No failure is more costly than the failure to educate our Black/African American students. While we cannot change the past, we can and must change the education system that shapes our future.
BESR began almost 15 years ago as a volunteer-led coalition of African American individuals, groups, organizations and other committed individuals that actively advocated for and provided information to policy makers at all levels about the disparate conditions of educational achievement for Black students in the state of Washington, which impacts all facets of life and our communities. We incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 2015.
BESR continues to build a sustainable state-wide organization that is inclusive, utilizes collective decision-making, engages in a significant effort of advocacy, information gathering and sharing, consciousness raising and awareness, and community outreach throughout the state for the improvement of educational outcomes.