Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown knows the importance of education, and he understands how inequality can affect a child’s experience in school.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Brown described how he first came to grips with education inequality, how categorizing students based on their perceived academic abilities can have damaging results. So, Brown — who is in the MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellows Program — is starting an educational program that attempts to fix this societal issue.
“There are a group of people that are comfortable being the dominant group. Some people might think there’s nothing wrong with the world and it should stay the way it is. I’m one of the people that challenges that and thinks we still have a lot of growth left to do.’’
The fourth-year guard told The Globe that he went to college at Cal instead of elite basketball programs such as Kentucky or Kansas because UC Berkeley “embraces social activism.” Then, his freshman year, he read a book by Jeannie Oakes called “Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality’’ that enlightened him to the world of inequality in education.
A necessary assist to the city
According to The Globe, Brown has started the process of selecting students and staff from local community centers to begin constructing his program.
A 2018 report by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government found that black and Latino students, which consist of three quarters of the demographic in the Boston public schools, are “severely underrepresented” in the top exam schools in the city.
Wise beyond his years
Brown was named a 2019 MIT Director’s Fellow, and — as part of the program — he will pick 10 kids from disadvantaged communities in Boston and give them the resources of MIT.
At 23 years of age, Brown is wise beyond his years — he declared for the 2016 NBA Draft without an agent and has been active in helping his fellow players with networking and understanding the business world.
Brown is also thriving on the court. He is having the best season of his young career, averaging 19.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a key cog for the Celtics.
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