The Ron Clark Academy is a highly acclaimed middle school located in Atlanta, Georgia. The school’s predominantly black students are able to learn about and celebrate their culture and heritage.
However, the academy’s founders, Ron Clark and Kim Bearden, are not black.
The founders are trying to bridge the racial divide by building student trust. “If they know you love them, you can trust in them, and have high expectations,” says Ron Clark.
Bearden says that acknowledging racial differences helps create understanding. It was this understanding that encouraged her to adopt three black boys when she was conducting teacher trainings in South Africa.
Clark and Bearden have faced their fair share of criticism. However, they respond by encouraging their critics to look at their unique teaching methods.