Minnesota Education Equity Partnership Annual Report 2022
From Our Executive Director
Recently, a Minnesota licensing board was given a judicial green light to proceed with cultural competency requirements for teacher licenses.
Some argue it changes little as professional preparation programs have long offered this training. However, the passive approach of merely making the development of that skill available—while good— pales in comparison to the level of seriousness a legal requirement to demonstrate the skill represents.
Racial equity obligates high-stakes outcomes captured in strong policy. It’s what MnEEP calls, “getting real.”
Throughout this year, MnEEP has approached its mission of “transforming systems, structures, and public narratives to advance race equity and excellence in education” with a strategic eye to help those providing education to students of color and Indigenous students go beyond intending good and towards strongly advancing competent, culturally affirming practices and policies for effective learner outcomes.
That was true as we delivered Cultural Competency Training workshops for K-12 teachers to meet state licensing requirements and when we assisted three Greater Minnesota school districts and a Twin Cities Charter school to update their race equity implementation plans. We pushed developing their skills to go beyond mild expectations and to fully embrace how to nurture the existing power of their students.
We also worked collectively to research and shape proposals; organize advocacy networks to inform and support state leaders in pushing forward legislative initiatives to better align higher education student financial aid; transform the use of developmental coursework from being “dead-ends” for students; and ensure have colleges engage in culturally affirming student support programs.
We did similar legislative policy advancement work in the K -12 education arena to change how to financially and pedagogically support English language learners.
And we confronted the miscasting of Critical Race Theory to attack the race equity work of K-12 schools by organizing virtual town meetings to dispel misinformation and strengthen the spirit of those committed to positive outcomes for all students — especially to those who are Indigenous and people of color.
“Getting real” for race equity means pushing instructional practices beyond the conventional, even as we respect and keep effective ones. It is about actions – held accountable by powerful policy and targeted resources – that acknowledge the inadequate and even harmful design that exists in our current delivery of education opportunities.
Which means, “getting real” is human and full of love. And the meaningful power for good that evokes.
Join us in “getting real” for racial equity.
—Carlos Mariani Rosa
MnEEP Executive Director
Our board members are integral to our mission.
Our Board members have wide variety of experience and expertise in education. Their range of skills and perspectives are integral to the progress and success of our organization. Several members have served with MnEEP for a number of years, helping us shape and support our achievements.
We are thankful for their continued leadership and commitment as we work towards educational equity in Minnesota.
Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, Chair; Faculty, Minnesota State University Mankato
Josefina Landrieu, Vice Chair; Sr. Director of Equity and Inclusion, Metropolitan State University
Courtney Caldwell, Secretary; Equity Transformation Specialist, Pacific Educational Group
Pa Dao Yang, Treasurer; Equity & Inclusion Program
Specialist, City of Bloomington
Bryan E. Bass, EdD, At Large, Assistant Superintendent of Equity & Achievement, Osseo Area Schools
Dr. Stanley Brown, Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion, Hopkins Area Public Schools
Virginia Clay-Chism, IT Director at Medtronic
Kim Ellison, Chair, Minneapolis Board of Education
Dr. Satasha Green-Stephen, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Khadra Hussein, Doctoral Research Assistant, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Dr. Jacquelyn Malcolm, Vice Chancellor of Information & Technology and CIO, MinnState
Katie O’Bryan, Professional Learning Specialist, Code.org
Dr. Sandy Pulles, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion, ServeMinnesota
Megan Rozowski, Director of Research & Policy Development, Minnesota Private College Council
Samantha Sencer-Mura, Community Member
Dr. Lynette Scott, IB Coordinator/ELA Teacher, St. Paul Public Schools
Dr. Darrell Stolle, Chair of the Education Department, Concordia College
Tricia Wilkinson Director, TRIO Upward Bound; University of Minnesota
Mission & Vision
MnEEP transforms systems, structures, and public narratives to advance race equity and excellence in education.
We envision a racially just society in which each student achieves their full potential.
Led by People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) thought leaders and experts, MnEEP uses a race equity lens to develop and advance networks, practices, research, and policies to dismantle racism in education and build a more just, equitable Minnesota.
We work to make an impact by advancing and transforming:
- Resource Flows & Research
- Networks, Relationships, Connections & Convening
- Power Dynamics
- Mental Models & Narrative Change
- Critical Response
Join us to build equitable education spaces that uplift and empower Minnesota’s POCI students and advance racial equity and excellence in education.
Every child deserves to achieve their full potential for success and excellence regardless of race, creed, nationality, or class.
Every child deserves to achieve their full potential for success and excellence regardless of race, creed, nationality, or class.
It is vital to address systems, structures and public narrative change by honoring the histories of communities of color and American Indian communities.
Cross-cultural dynamics and collaborative relationships are key to changing systems, structures, and public narratives.
The ability of students to be engaged learners—to understand themselves, their histories, their identities, and the world—is necessary to build critical thinking skills to release their power in shaping themselves and the world.
Big Bold Goals
How we’re transforming practices, policies, and public narratives to build an education system in Minnesota where each child can thrive.
Working alongside education leaders and race equity advocates to inform, shape, and advocate for core policies that support the success of Minnesota’s students of color, English Learners, and Indigenous students.
- Through the Emerging Multilingual Learners (EML) Statewide Network and state and national partnerships, MnEEP successfully influenced policy decision-makers through multiple legislative proposals to positively have an impact on ELs and EMLs in Minnesota K-12 Education including: EL funding, ESL teacher licensure; administrative relicensure; EL family engagement/advocacy, and more.
- MnEEP continues to be a state leader in the area of policy advocacy as it relates to much-needed EML and EL policy shifts leading to transformative change in K-12 Education, aligned to the LEAPS Act of 2014-15, and recognizes the critical importance of community, families, students, and statewide partners and institutions in making positive changes for EMLs and ELs across the state.
- MnEEP advocated for essential policy reform to the state grant formula and program as well as targeting critically important resources to better support People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) students on college and university campuses across Minnesota, including leading the statewide movement on developmental education reform in higher education.
- Thanks to the research and insights of MnEEP’s College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council (CREAAC) Chairs and Members, and many state and national higher-ed partners, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill that would ensure the State Grant will cover the costs of developmental education courses without counting towards a student’s grant term limits.
Although the Minnesota Legislature was unable to pass a Higher Education Omnibus Bill in the Spring of 2022, MnEEP’s policy advocacy efforts and ongoing analysis of systemic changes needed in higher education continue to powerfully influence racially equitable policy shifts in Minnesota’s Higher Education systems and institutions through partnerships centered on generating transformative policy proposals and higher education bills.
- During the 2022 legislative session, Minnesota House lawmakers passed a bill that would allow for multiple measures to determine student placement in developmental education courses in Minnesota’s higher ed institutions.
- This essential bill was celebrated for removing one of the many systemic barriers to postsecondary education for Minnesota’s students of color and Indigenous students. It had been informed by critical Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) research and two years of expert analysis and input from MnEEP’s multiracial College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council (CREEAC).
- MnEEP also informed and advocated for a policy proposal mandating that higher education institutions notify high school students of their exemption from having to take the Accuplacer test if their Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) college-ready benchmark scores met the standard for being ready for college, thus removing another barrier for People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) and students generally in higher education systems.
- The bill currently sits in the hands of the Minnesota Senate, for passage in 2023.
Using a race equity lens to guide essential research, policy recommendations, and best practices for building meaningful systems change.
- Shared essential insights and developed key research priorities for 2022/2023 alongside K-12 and higher-ed leaders on MnEEP’s Research Collaborative Table (RCT).
- Continued to support research priorities identified in our 5 BBGs through developing case studies for equity-centered best practices, guided and supported by MnEEP’s Research Collaborative Table (RCT)
Multiple new case studies, developed alongside the RCT, detailing the impact of Culturally Validating Pedagogy (CVP) on student success and outcomes will be released in 2023.
Introduced CLEAR Solutions Framework as a meta-frame, combined with a mixed-methods research approach, for advancing and supporting MnEEP’s Five BBGs.
The CLEAR Solutions Framework combines multiple systems tools that guide sustainable change. This approach moves from theoretical concepts to a practical application that produces equitable results leading toward better student outcomes and excellence in education.
The MnEEP 2020 College Completion Policy Brief continues to be used to inform and shape new policies for advancing college access and completion, including financial aid reform and developmental ed reform, which were introduced in new bills in 2022.
In partnership with the Minnesota PELSB, the EML Network partners and leadership team met with staff from PELSB to provide updated and vetted language relating specifically to race equity in the new standards of effective practice. All of the language recommendations regarding race equity were adopted by PELSB.
The MnEEP EML network partners have developed a strong partnership with Minnesota PELSB and BOSA and will continue to advocate for and influence EL standards for administrative and educator relicensure.
Supporting families, communities, students, districts, educators, and higher-ed staff and faculty in building a movement for racial equity.
- Built alongside the College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council (CREAAC), the Race Equity in Higher Education Toolkit is an essential advocacy tool for building cross-sector collaborations and sharing policies, best practices, and advocacy for building a more racially just higher-ed system.
Ikram Mohamud serves as our College Race Equity Initiative Coordinator and also as leader of CREAAC.
Ikram also led our Race Equity in Higher Ed Regional Convening in October, at Macalester College, which included 50 attendees learning about MnEEP’s policy goals and sharing knowledge and best practices for building what’s next.
Led by Jennifer Godinez, the Race Equity Toolkit is designed to support school district leaders and educators in centering community voices and building essential Race Equity Frameworks and Race Equity Planning.
A new website was developed to reflect MnEEP’s forward-thinking, collaborative vision for advancing racial equity, and to support school leaders and educators in building a movement for a more racially just education system in Minnesota.
The membership drive was the first in a series of new public pushes for increasing MnEEP membership at the $50 a year and above level.
The member ship drive resulted in 46 new MnEEP members from education and racial equity spaces.
New memberships, ranging from $50 to $1,000 a year, are critical to increasing advocacy for MnEEP’s work in 2023.
Networks & Convenings
Deepening relationships, sharing insights, and building best practices and advocacy for advancing race equity in education in Minnesota.
- The RCT is comprised of a dedicated group of scholars and practitioners access the educational landscape of Minnesota. This group includes nationally recognized scholars as well as practitioners across P-20 learning. The group has worked to identify critical concerns and then committed themselves to a thoughtful process of research that has guided the development of the case studies that will be part of the 2023 State of Students of Color / American Indian Students Report.
- Monthly meetings with RCT researchers to incorporate a CLEAR Solutions Framework and mixed-methods research principles which provided the foundation for the original research that is producing the MnEEP’s upcoming case studies.
- CREAAC team and leaders worked to build and shape core policies for advancing race equity in higher ed, including once introduced during the 2022 session.
- Partnered with Macalester College to hold a regional convening , Building Race Equity in Higher Ed, centered on building best practices, relationships, and collaborations with students, faculty, and staff.
Multiple webinars throughout the year provided a timely response to several critical topics impacting the educational landscape in Minnesota. These webinars addressed an array of topics including American Indian Education, racism in athletics and extracurricular activities as well as a three-part series confronting the spread of misinformation around Critical Race Theory.
- Through support from Propel, the Mortenson Family Foundation, and other philanthropic supporters, MnEEP engaged in policy advocacy and leadership trainings, workshops, and convenings for the purpose of equipping community members and parents of POCI and EL students to become powerful advocates for systemic educational transformation and change in K-12 education and policy influencing and shifting through upcoming legislation like the REAL Act.
- MnEEP will continue partnering with community, parents, and other organizations like the Minneapolis Public Schools, Planting People Growing Justice, Rebuilding the Village and many other local and state organizations to build a collaborative and well informed policy advocacy coalition that focuses on the empowering of PEOPLE to become the advocates of their children’s learning and futures, called the REAL CLEAR Network and Coalition (RCNC)
Supporting organization; Held convening this summer at Metro State
Educator Leadership Services
Providing training, educator support, and race equity planning for districts and institutions across the state.
The MnEEP Superintendent Race Equity Leadership Network continues to inspire, equip, and connect E-12 Minnesota superintendents as they strive to apply race equity practices and policies in their school districts that center local communities, families and students. The leadership cohort model is a powerful learning network featuring presentations and leadership exercises by national and local thought leaders following an adaptive leadership pedagogy for transformative systems change.
MnEEP continues as one of the state’s leaders in offering cultural competency trainings and is open to providing these relicensure-based and promising practices workshops and series of learning stops for educators.
Continued to build out leadership services and trainings for districts and educators. Partnered with Seven Hills Preparatory Academy and La Crescent Hokah Public Schools to build race equity framework and plans
MnEEP works to shift public perceptions and narratives to build meaningful connections, deepen understanding, and increase advocacy for building a racially just education system in Minnesota.
Led two virtual series to combat misinformation around CRT and to support educators in advocating for race equity plans, practices, and policies.
What is Critical Race Theory? Building Understanding and Debunking Misinformation.
During this series, educators and school leaders will be able to deepen their understanding of what Critical Race Theory is, and what it isn’t, and take part in essential breakout groups to better understand CRT and recommit to building racial equity in education.
Recommitting to Race Equity: Centering What Matters
How we talk about what we believe and why it matters is essential for challenging the dominant narrative, connecting to others, and building a movement for transformative change together. This town hall served as a workshop for higher-ed leaders and educators to better understand values-based framing and for communicating race equity plans to parents and the broader community.
Throughout the year, MnEEP continued to lead student-and values-centered narratives for deepening understanding and building meaningful change and action around key issues.
Leading research initiatives and policy analysis to develop, advance, and distribute the wisdom and knowledge from racially diverse and culturally inclusive perspectives.
Over the past four years, the MnEEP Emerging Multilingual Learners (EML) Network has engaged in critical activities to promote multilingualism as an asset…
Our Members & Partners
Our Members, Partners & Funders are critical to sustaining the work of MnEEP
As formal partners, these organizations generously support our efforts to promote systems level change through funding, invaluable expertise, and strategic resources and commitment.
- Brooklyn Center Independent Schools
- Hopkins Public Schools
- Macalester College
- Minneapolis Public Schools
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education
- Minnesota Private College Council
- Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
- Northwest Suburban Integration School District
- Robbinsdale Area Schools
- Saint Paul Public Schools
- University of Minnesota
- MN Board of School Administrators (BOSA)
- MN Professional Educators Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)
- Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
- Planting People Growing Justice
- Rebuilding the Village
- University of Minnesota
- Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs
- Ed Allies
- Seven Hills Preparatory Academy
- La Crescent-Hokah Schools
- Regional Centers of Excellence, Educator
Foundation and Corporate grants are the lifeblood of our nonprofit. Their investments in Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) and our work are essential and we are humbled and thankful for their ongoing support of this work.
We continue to be immeasurably grateful to our all of our those who provide financial support and thought leadership to MnEEP, and graciously acknowledge their contributions to this work.
- 3M Foundation
- Blandin Foundation
- Bush Foundation
- Dignity in Schools
- General Mills Foundation
- Joyce Family Foundation
- Medtronic Foundation
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education
- St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation
- Sanneh Foundation
- Securian Foundation
- Travelers Foundation
- United Way (Greater Twin Cities)
- Nicola Alexander University of Minnesota
- Rene Antrop-Gonzalez Metropolitan State University
- Davina Baldwin Davina Baldwin Insurance
- Anne Becker Intermediate District 287
- Bruce Beneke Southern Mn. Reg. Legal Services
- Lara Bergman Please Select a Prefix
- Lanise Block Sankore Consulting
- Julia Burkstaller Girl Scouts River Valleys
- Courtney Caldwell Intermediate District 287
- Lee Carlson Windom Public Schools
- Anne Carroll Carroll Franck & Associates
- Brenda Cassellius
- Iris Cornelius
- Beth Daniels
- Merrie Davidson University of St Thomas
- Jim Davnie Minnesota House of Representatives
- Rebecca Dosch Brown Institute On Community Integration
- Michael Dueñes
- Karn Engelsgjerd The Achievement Network
- Elizabeth Finsness Minnesota State University Mankato
- Thomas Flunker Gustavus Adolphus College – St. Peter MN
- Julia Freeman Voices For Racial Justice
- Rosario Fuentes
- Brenda Garces
- Kenneth Gilchrist
- Danielle Grant AchieveMpls
- Nora Hall GrayHall
- Sue Hammersmith Antiracism Study Dialogue Circle
- Ambar Cristina Hanson Mortenson Family Foundation
- Alexander And Maria Hines
- Anil Hurkadli Thrivent Foundation
- Bernadeia Johnson Minnesota State University Mankato
- Aara Johnson Office of the Governor
- Sundraya Kase MPCC
- Jessica Kopp
- Thomas Kottke HealthPartners
- Teresa Kruizenga Minnesota State University Mankato
- Melinda Lee
- Joan Little
- Carlos Mariani MN House of Rep
- Joel Mixon University Of Minnesota
- Jessie Montano
- Joe Nathan Center for School Change
- Jean O’Connell
- Jan Ormasa Jan Ormasa Consulting
- Mike Palmquist Renaissance Learning
- Steven Paprocki Access Philanthropy
- Leiataua Dr. Robert Peterson TE2: Education and Engineering Consulting LLC
- Molly Priesmeyer Good Work Group
- Joanne Reeck Augsburg University
- Kristina Robertson Roseville Area Schools
- Michael Rodriguez University of Minnesota
- Bruce Schelske University Of Minnesota
- Jon Schroeder Education|Evolving
- Daniel Sellers EdAllies
- Laura Shannon
- Barbara Shin SYMMETRY SYSTEM UNLIMITED
- Anne Soto Greater Twin Cities United Way
- Patrice Tetta Mission360 Consulting LLC
- Daniela Vasan The Wildflower Foundation
- Kelsey Waits
- Lark Weller
- Anna Werb
- Liz Williams Greater Twin Cities United Way
- Karen Woodward Integral Consulting
- Pa Dao Yang Normandale Community College
- Barbara Yates Think Small
- Cheryl Youakim MN House of Representatives
- Alison Zellmer Reading and Math Inc.
- Leann Zins Enninga
MnEEP’s College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council (CREAAC), a state-wide, multi-racial advocacy group working to direct and advocate for new polices to advance race equity in Minnesota’s higher education systems.
We are grateful for their work!
CREAAC Members List:
Mortenson Family Foundation – Executive Director
SOVA – Senior Partner
Carlos Mariani Rosa
MnEEP – Executive Director
MnEEP -Program Consultant
ServeMN – Vice President of Equity & Inclusion
U of M – Director of Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
MN Private College Council – Director of Research & Policy
Century College – Academic Advisor
Couturier Consulting LLC – Founder
MN Office of Higher Education – Director of Grants & Government Relations
Good Work Group – Principal, Strategist, Communications Consultant
MN State – Director of Innovation & Collaboration
Concordia St.Paul – Associate VP for Government & Community Relations Professor of Economics
ConnextMSP – Network Manager
Nicola A. Alexander
U of M – Professor Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Diversity, and International Initiatives
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe – JOM Coordinator
Carleton College – Trio/Student Support Services – Director
Tricia Wilkinson – Board of MnEEP – At Large/Treasure
Trio Upward Bound, College of Ed & Human Development, U of M – Director
Josefina Landrieu – Board of MnEEP – Vice Chair
Metropolitan State University – Vice President of Equity and Inclusion
Jesse Mason (In place of Satasha Green-Stephen @MinnState)
Minnesota State Colleges & University System – Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs
Pa Dao Yang – Board of MnEEP – Treasure
City of Bloomington – Equity & Inclusion Program Specialist
- Dr. Michelle Benegas, Hamline University
- Dr. Ashley Karlsson, Southeast Service Cooperative
- Ahmed Keynan, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Leah Soderland, Mounds View Schools and MinneTESOL
- Dr. Amy Stolpestad, Hamline University
- Dr. Karla Stone, University of Minnesota
- Yee Yang, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Dr. Amy Young, Minnesota Department of Education
- Heidi Bernal, Community Member and Hamline University
- Dr. Jill Watson, St. Olaf College
- Rep. Carlos Mariani, MnEEP
- Leiataua Dr. Robert Jon Peterson, MnEEP and TE2 Consulting
- Michelle Chang, CAAL
- Sam Ouk, Prior Lake-Savage Schools
- Michael Bowlus, Minnesota Department of Education
- Leigh Schleicher, Minnesota Department of Education
- Dr. Rev Hillstrom, MnEEP
- Leticia Guadarrama, Community Member
- Molly Priesmeyer, MnEEP and Good Work Group
- Michelle Vaught, Minnesota PELSB
- Said Garad, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Andrew Feigen, Student at the University of Minnesota
- Michelle Sandler, Minnesota PELSB
- Paulina Jacobsson, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Leiataua Dr. Robert Jon Peterson
- Dr. David Heistad
- Dr. Julio Ceaser
- Dr. Michael Rodriguez
- Dr. Nicloa Alexander
- Elizabeth Fontaine
- Jamie Wright
- Dr. Priyank Shah
- Nicole Tommerdahl Whelan
- Dr. Stacey Gray-Akeya
- Ethan Nererdahl
- Suzan Samaha
- Audra Stevenson
- Megan Rozowski
- Nanette Yureko
- Dr. Rose Chu
- Rola Cao
- Dr. Constance Robinson
- Jason Knighton-Johnson
- Ikram Mohamud
- Molly Priesmeyer
- Carlos Mariani Rosa
- Jeannette Lutter-Gardella
Moving Forward Together
Minnesota Education Equity Partnership wishes to recognize the individuals and organizations whose annual investments as Members, Partners, and Funders support education equity in Minnesota. What we do is made possible and strengthened by the community we have around us. The generosity of our Members, Partners, and Funders is a cornerstone of our work and a testament to the ways in which we can all lift each other as we continue to move forward as a state.
Membership also entitles you to vote for Board members and officers, and on other governance matters that sustain and help us manage the life of the organization.