EAP 24: Melissa Chester – Off the Web & Into the World – Turning a 150k Member Facebook Group Into a Massive Movement
He literally gave me the reigns and allowed me to shape Black Educators Rock in the way I wanted to shape it. #EAP #BlackEducatorsRock
I created the vision, the mission, the areas of focus, I looked at what I thought I wanted Black Educators Rock to cover and what I didn’t want it to cover. #EAP #BlackEducatorsRock
What we’re doing now is taking if from a Facebook group and starting those grassroots efforts and so we’re starting local chapters. #EAP #BlackEducatorsRock
On this episode of the Early Accountability podcast, our guest is Dr. Melissa Chester, CEO of Black Educators Rock, Inc. Dr. Chester and one of her former students founded Black Educators Rock as a Facebook group which quickly gained traction and engagement, amassing 1,000 group members within 24 hours and 100,000 within 90 days. The Facebook group has now been segmented into geographic subgroups, which are moderated by volunteers, and has even resulted in the establishment of some local chapters across the country and the world.
In 2015, Black Educators Rock, Inc. became a 501(c)3 organization focused on instructional strategies, professional knowledge, and advocacy and empowerment. The largest product of Dr. Chester’s efforts is the annual Rock Conference held every summer to encourage and enrich participants and prepare them for the upcoming school year. This year, they have sessions on youth mental health first aid, active shooter training, advocacy and empowerment, and even homeownership 101. Dr. Chester has found time and again that there is strength in numbers and she hopes that Black Educators Rock might develop into an institute where members can become advisors to group members in their areas of expertise.
Dr. Chester advises anyone in the early stages of developing a nonprofit or any organization to spend their time and energy on the vision, mission, and areas of focus of their organization and understand that it will be a lonely journey initially. But be confident in your mission and put in the hard work to ultimately benefit the people you want to serve.
Topics Covered on This Episode:
- How to build a movement
- Listening to your constituents and create solutions to their problems
- How to properly begin your organization
Connect with Dr. Chester: