The Root 100 - The Most Influential African Americans in 2020 - 99: Reva McPollom

Oleg Dyachenko
·1 min read

Reva McPollom wants to make "coming of age" less confusing. Her own experience growing up queer highlighted inadequacies in the way topics like mental and sexual health and identity have traditionally been taught in schools. Now an educator and parent herself, she launched the Lessonbee learning system to provide students from kindergarten through 12th grade with stronger and "culturally responsive" health education. An advocate for homeschooling, McPollom has developed an innovative curriculum that enables parents to bring age-appropriate handling of these sometimes sensitive topics into their homes, including courses in mental health and illness, reproduction and pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS awareness. In addition, Lessonbee has been approved for use by the Chicago Public Schools' Office of Student Health and Wellness, and McPollom is working with the New York City Department of Education on a mental health curriculum for the city's public schools. "What it comes down to is providing access to truth and openness," McPollom said in an interview with Blood and Milk earlier this year.