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The '22 - '23 Sirtify Cohort with Coordinator Marvis Kilgore.


The mission of Sirtify is to recruit and support Black, African American and African men into elementary and secondary education pathways.

It’s been proven that representation makes a difference in a child’s life. A study published in the American Economic Journal looking at Black boys in the elementary grades showed that those with a Black male teacher were 29% less likely to drop out of school years later and 39% for very low-income Black students. According to the Department of Education, only 2% of teachers in the country are Black men. In Minnesota, just 0.5% of teachers are Black males

Students of color and American Indian students frequently do not have access to teachers who share their ethnic or racial identities. In Minnesota (according to the Minnesota Department of Education), only 5.9% of our teacher workforce identify as teachers of color or American Indian teachers; whereas 36.7% of our students identify as students of color or American Indian students.  

The Sirtify program envisions a world where Black, African American, and African men have the tools, skills and support necessary to rewrite the negative narratives placed upon them by society. Our program seeks to empower black men in education to have a positive impact on all students especially those from similar backgrounds.

Sirtify will provide:

  • Academic Support
  • Leadership Training
  • Professional Support
  • Cultural Competency Training
  • International Summer Experience
  • Professional Mentors
  • Tailored advising to ensure successful transition into a four-year program
  • Annual scholarship of up to $10,000 covering all tuition, fees, books, and supplies, plus a contribution toward cost of living

If you are a student looking to apply to the program or you would like information on how to support Sirtify, please contact Sirtify Program Coordinator Marvis Kilgore at

Sirtify Program in the Media

See below for interesting articles describing the impact that Sirtify is having at Normandale.

Students Confirm Black Students Perform Better with Black Teachers. This Minnesota College Program is Targeting Black Men to Increase Their Presence in Classrooms (Atlanta Black Star, April 22, 2022)

Pioneers and Changemakers: Marvis Kilgore (City of Bloomington, April 8, 2022)

Increasing representation in K-12 classrooms (Community College Daily, April 6, 2022)

Normandale program works to increase number of Black teaches in Minnesota (Fox 9, April 4, 2022)

Normandale Seeking Students for Black Men in Teaching Program (KARE-11, February 23, 2022)

Great Expectations for Black Men in Teaching (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, December 15, 2021)

At Normandale, Marvis Kilgore addresses dearth of Black Men in Teaching (Star Tribune, August 20, 2021)

Sirtify was first known as Black Men in Teaching when the program launched in Fall 2021.

Sirtify Program Director Marvis Kilgore.

I want the young men going through this program to gain the educational, cultural, social, and career preparation to be resilient so they can be change agents, champions and advocates for all students.

Marvis Kilgore, Sirtify Program Director

Help Support Sirtify!

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Marvis Kilgore

Sirtify Program Coordinator

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