The BEE Project Origin
“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyways. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.” – The Bee Movie
The Brilliance, Excellence, and Equity in Education Project (BEE Project) was founded on the premise that brilliance lies in the places we often overlook – namely in the minds of Black and Hispanic children. Western philosophy has a very narrow view of giftedness that believes that it is limited to only a certain number of people – and those people often don’t look like the children we serve. Eastern philosophy, by contrast, believes that every person is born with a measure of giftedness, and whether or not that is fully realized is dependent on how it is nurtured by those around them.
Black and Latinx children represent 15% and 27% of students, but only 8.5% and 18% of students identified as gifted and talented. Inequitable practices and the lack of gifted programs altogether at schools serving Black and Latinx students has led to only 276,840 Black students identified in 2016, although as many as 771,728 should have been if these systems worked. Equitable practices in gifted education would increase the 588,891 Latinx gifted student population to 1,164,363. In sum, there are up to 1 million “missing” Black and Latinx gifted children.
Research shows that Black and Latinx teachers are more likely to identify these students’ giftedness. Founded as thinkLaw’s nonprofit arm in 2021, The BEE Project is redefining who qualifies as gifted and who gets to teach gifted children by inspiring, training, and certifying Black and Latinx educators to equitably design and lead gifted programs. These programs identify and meet the unique needs of brilliant Black and Latinx children and their families who have been overlooked and underestimated by our current system.
The BEE Project’s combined clinical and professional learning experience gives educators will receive the training they need to start, teach, lead, and equitably operate gifted and talented programs in their school systems.
We have spent so long talking about closing achievement gaps. The BEE Project is moving forward to start shattering achievement ceilings.