Charles Cole III

Guest Blogger

Founder, Energy Convertors

Oakland, California

Charles Cole III is an educator and media producer focused on the advancement of all youth of color, but more specifically Black males. The passion comes from his own experiences growing up without proper support. His life’s goal is to better the communities he grew up in through his work.

He has served as a social worker, a director for Teach For America, the vice chair of the California Young Democrats, Black Caucus and at a director’s level at various youth-focused nonprofits. Charles is a national speaker and writer and can be found in Oakland and around the country working with youth on how to equip themselves appropriately to lay the groundwork for a bright future. He is currently finishing his first book aimed at Black males titled, “Stop Hustling Backwards.”

Charles decided to return to work for the district he grew up in, as a community engagement specialist. There, he worked closely with the community to help drive policies that lead to educational transformation.

Charles blogs at One Oakland United, Education Post, Citizen Education and Huffington Post, as well as other outlets.

RECENT POSTS

Posted June 13, 2017

What I Learned From Listening to 100 Oakland Students

“If you could address any issue regarding education, school, and your community, what would it be?” That’s the question that…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted May 18, 2017

Pushing a Student in Front of a School Board Meeting Isn’t Student Voice That’s Working for Adults

What does real student voice look like? Like, for real student voice. I’m not talking about forcing kids to come…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Jan. 31, 2017

#MyBlackHistory: My Parents Decided to Go Back to College 30 Years Later. Here’s How My Story Inspired Them.

I know the impact a great education can have on students, their families, their community and the world.…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Oct. 17, 2016

I’m a Card-Carrying Member of the NAACP and I Want to Apologize to Black Parents

I owe you an apology. I watched you show up in Cincinnati, Ohio for the NAACP’s national board meeting, yearning to…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Aug. 15, 2016

Black Families Should Demand Good Schools and Here’s How We Start

Recently, the NAACP called for a moratorium on charter schools, which would deal a blow to African-American families and their…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted June 28, 2016

How Bothered Do We Need to Be to End Chicago’s Killing Season?

I’m an Oakland boy but the place that birthed me is in crisis and the world is numb to it.…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted May 24, 2016

5 Questions Every Black Parent Needs to Ask Their Child’s Teacher and School

I spent nearly five years at a nonprofit focused on getting students in and through college. Many of the students…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Feb. 25, 2016

If You Think How We’re Educating Black Kids Has Nothing to Do With Gentrification, You’re Wrong

Let’s take a look at how we are educating black kids. This is a national issue, but I’ll focus on…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Dec. 4, 2015

Here’s What Happens When Oakland Parents See What’s Possible

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit schools with local Oakland parents. We went to Milpitas. Milpitas isn’t…

By Charles Cole III

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Posted Nov. 4, 2015

Forget the Progressive Divide, Our Kids Need to Read—By Any Means Necessary

If you are a progressive like me, you have to feel good about the gains we’re making. If you’re an…

By Charles Cole III

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Featured Posts

Posted Aug. 22, 2017

These Two Sisters Aren’t Afraid to Get Messy If It Means Better Schools for Philadelphia’s Kids

“Don’t mess it up.” Those words rode the bus with Quibila Divine in the late 1960s and early ’70s from North Philadelphia to the predominantly…

By Tre Johnson

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Posted Aug. 15, 2017

Every Book You Teach Is a Political Choice. Make It a Step Towards Social Justice.

At NNSTOY’s (National Network of State Teachers of the Year) conference last July, civil rights educator Sharif El-Mekki delivered a moving presentation that ended with…

By Topher Kandik

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Posted Aug. 14, 2017

Sure, You Hate Trump, But Can You Tell Your Students That?

Is it OK to hate the president? Yes. Is it OK to hate the president from the front of the classroom? That’s harder. As teachers…

By Tom Rademacher

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