A faculty member is making it easier for future generations of men of color to become teachers by supporting a scholarship designed to encourage them to enter the field of education.
Charles Rankin, professor, supported the scholarship fund for scholars in Call Me MISTER, an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. The College of Education adopted the program in 2015 as a concerted effort to attract men of color – the most urgently needed demographic in the profession.
Rankin served as director of the Midwest Equity Assistance Center housed in the College of Education for nearly 40 years and his story was one of five profiled in the college’s documentary “A Long Road: 50 Years of Experience for Five African American K-State Alumni.” His passion for education and social justice can be traced to a poignant truism he heard countless times growing up.
“My mother used to say, ‘You can’t be one, unless you see one,’” Rankin said, referencing the need for diverse role models in classrooms and in all professions. “At a point in time when we have more minority children in school we need to provide positive role models during the formative years – especially at the elementary level – when it really counts.”
Rankin spent his professional career bending the arc of social justice. With this scholarship, his work will continue for generations to come.