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    The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA)

    "Success is seen as being famous or rich. We only talk about Black Excellence in relation to people like Obama, but by doing so, we are limiting that definition to 'I need to be a famous athlete or President of the U.S.' to be successful. Black Excellence, is also having a normal life, feeling like you are part of the community…"
    - Seattle Public Schools Student


    AAMA at a Glance


    AAMA's Mission

    The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) works to ensure that the educational environment across the system supports the brilliance and excellence of Black boys and teens. In alignment with Seattle Excellence, the district's strategic plan and collective commitment to unapologetically support and serve students and families furthest from educational justice, AAMA is committed to the long journey required for the positive transformation of SPS, and has been working to achieve that vision every day since its founding in 2019. Seattle Public Schools is the first district in Washington state, and one of the few across the nation, to create an office that intentionally cultivates the cultural and academic strengths of African American male students while simultaneously addressing their needs.

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    Trevon: COVID-19 Planning Committees

    Ajala: "Nothing About Us Without Us"


    How AAMA Works

    AAMA is a driver of systemic change, not a program. By listening to the experiences and solutions of students and inviting engagement from families and the greater community, AAMA works to dismantle the systemic racism embedded in the public education system. AAMA works with Black boys and teens to reconstruct school systems and structures to meet their unique needs, advance public education as a tool for transformation and liberation, and create a strong learning environment that attends to the social, emotional, and educational needs of students. We are actively becoming an anti-racist educational system. By ensuring Black male students thrive, conditions will improve for all students in Seattle Public Schools

    Four student pose for a photo together

     AAMA Logo

    Office of African American Male Achievement


    Photo of Mia Williams in graduation robes in front of a school sign

    Dr. Mia Williams
    Office of African American Male Achievement


    Haizlip and Loyal pose for a photo together

    Adam Haizlip
    Office of African American Male Achievement

    Kevin Loyal
    Office of African American Male Achievement

     Photo of William King

    William King
    AAMA Mentoring Program Coordinator



    AAMA's Four Strategic Areas of Focus

    AAMA’s work focuses on four strategic areas: culture, conditions, competencies, and community connection.


    AAMA Community Engagement

    Our mantra for community engagement is "Listen. Act. Repeat." We're actively involving Black students, families, partners, community elders, and the greater Seattle community in building a system that celebrates the brilliance of Black boys and teens throughout SPS. AAMA is currently in phase one of our three-phase strategic plan, which is outlined below.

    Phase 1: Discovery (current phase)

    • Virtual classroom visits
    • Listening and learning campaign
    • Building the foundation of the Office of AAMA, including fundraising and hiring staff
    • Launch of AAMA Student Leadership Council

    Phase 2: Research and Development

    • Landscape review of effective practices & research
    • Review of national models for educating Black male students
    • Interviews with national practitioners and system leaders that are changing the trajectories of Black male students

    Phase 3: Strategy Development

    • Gap analysis of SPS resources for Black male students
    • Pilot-test and refine programs
    • Black Excellence campaign
    • Training and convenings on competencies and strategic work


    Key AAMA Initiatives

    In alignment with the four strategic focus areas, AAMA staff has been focused on the following initiatives:

    • Listening and Learning Campaign: AAMA is engaging and learning from district staff, students, families, and the broader community through forms of outreach such as virtual events and individual home visits.
    • Landscape Audit: AAMA is assessing SPS culture, conditions, and leadership competencies to identify promising practices and areas of opportunity.
    • Student Leadership Council: AAMA is centering Black male student voices and perspectives in every aspect, function and department of SPS.
    • Informational Campaign: AAMA is building community awareness, understanding, engagement and buy-in of AAMA’s mission, process and work.
    • Strategic Plan: AAMA developing a multi-year strategic implementation plan based on findings and insights from the Listening and Learning Campaign.

    This year’s work will culminate in a community forum in January 2021 to share research conducted during the AAMA Listening and Learning campaign, the landscape audit, and next steps.