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Governor Cooper Honors North Carolina’s Black Educators, Proclaims Black History Month



Press Release


Governor Roy Cooper honored Black History Month and recognized North Carolina’s African American educators for their dedication to the students and families of North Carolina and their contributions to the state. Governor Cooper and the NC African American Heritage Commission hosted prominent Black educators and community members at the Executive Mansion.  


“North Carolina is a stronger state thanks to the tireless work of our Black educators and I am grateful for the ways each of them have stepped up over the course of their careers to help our students and communities,” said Governor Cooper. “When we have diverse teachers in our classrooms, all of our students benefit.”  


“We at the NC African American Heritage Commission are excited to join Governor Roy Cooper and his team in recognizing these outstanding honorees,” said Adrienne Nirdé, Director of the NC African American Heritage Commission. “In highlighting and celebrating an incredible group of Black educators, we honor their contributions and lasting impact on generations of North Carolinians.”  


The NC African American Heritage Commission (NCAAHC) recognizes this month’s honorees in partnership with Governor Cooper. The NCAAHC is a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.


Diverse teachers in the classroom improve student success across the board and can help fill a significant gap in the number of qualified teachers North Carolina needs in our schools. In 2019, Governor Cooper established the DRIVE Task Force to improve equity and inclusion in education. Through the DRIVE Task Force’s recommendations and action plan, North Carolina’s public school students and communities will benefit from a more racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse teacher workforce.


In January, Governor Cooper declared 2024 as “The Year of Public Schools” in North Carolina. The Governor has called for K-12 education and early childhood funding as well as meaningful investments in greater teacher pay. The Governor also called for a stop to state spending on vouchers for unaccountable and unregulated private schools until North Carolina’s public schools are fully funded. Fully funding our public schools ensures students of all backgrounds can receive a quality education.  


Governor Cooper signed Executive Orders in June 2020 to form a task force to address the barriers that communities of color face. The Andrea Harris Equity Task Force addresses the social, economic and health disparities that communities of color face.  

Educators do important work teaching our students and preparing the future of North Carolina. This year’s honorees include over 60 educators, support staff, retirees, and education-adjacent officials.  

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