Volume 7 | February 2021
The Alliance - Monthly News & Updates
Reflections from our staff: Black History, in February...and every other month of the year
As I reflect on the importance of Black History Month, I can't help but think of all the historical trauma and suffering that one group had to go through merely because of the color of their skin. I think about the incredible contributions that Black Americans have made in spite of the challenges and barriers that were set before them. My reflection on Black History Month is my deepest gratitude and appreciation for Black culture that has always been incredibly faithful to America, striving for the promise of the American dream. One of my greatest joys of celebrating Black History Month is that people get to see how deeply rooted Black Americans have significantly contributed to the undisputed success of the United States. My heart is with the Black community that continues to demonstrate how to go high when others decide to go low!

~ Sebastian Witherspoon, Executive Director
Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month, recognized the importance of young people seeing themselves accurately in the history of our nation and as part of a bigger story that transcends race and nationality. He celebrated Black folks “in” history and also wanted Americans to see the harsh realities of slavery and segregation. As I reflect on his legacy, I think about the tremendous responsibility we have to educate our students about a shared past and the wonderful opportunity we have to guide our students in co-creating a shared future as full citizens of both our nation and our world.

~ Regina Seabrook, Director of Research, Curriculum and Professional Development
My hope is that the spark created 105 years ago celebrating the great acts and knowledge Black people have given to the history of the United States will continue to burn brighter through and beyond the month of February. That spark that started with a week in 1925 deserves to be fanned to spread across all modalities of existence.

~ Chris Devine, Director of Organizational Innovation
A Hope and A Prayer from a proud, resilient, unapologetic Black Woman:
May the time come now (it’s never too late) when Black History Month, which began as a fledgling step to right the wrong of Black Americans being ignored as architects of and consequential contributors to American History, manifest itself 365 days of the year and Black Americans truly be acknowledged, celebrated and honored. Our children deserve nothing less than to know all of the people whose shoulders they stand on.

~ Tonya M. Sconiers, Director of Guidance and Programmatic Planning
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans, in honor of Black History Month, to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” It is my hope that America is able to embrace, appreciate and fully recognize the amazing contributions that Black people have so positively contributed to who we are as a country today beyond just February. This history should be part of our everyday experiences, lessons taught at school and truly woven into the fabric of our history and our country.

~Janine Stammler, Operations Manager and Interim Student Programs Manager
School Board Appreciation Week
In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, we want to recognize all School Board members that take on the civic challenge of supporting our schools, kids, staff and community. Beyond that, we specifically want to thank our Member District Board Members that comprise our Joint Powers Board. Thank you for your service, dedication and commitment to educational equity for ALL students.

  • Michael Boguszewski, Chair, Roseville Area Schools
  • Mary Clardy, Inver Grove Heights Schools
  • Linda Diaz, South St. Paul Schools
  • Jessica Ellison, Clerk, White Bear Lake Area Schools
  • Rob Raphael, Treasurer, Forest Lake Area Schools
Member District Employment Postings
Member School District Employment Opportunities
Our member districts have the opportunity to include employment postings on our page to help with recruiting and engaging a diverse pool of applicants.

If you are a member district and want to learn more, please contact jstammler@ea-mn.org.
Equity Alliance MN is Looking to Add to Our Team
Equity Alliance MN is searching for a talented professional development specialist who is passionate and has a deep understanding of race, culture, bias and other areas on the journey to equity. This person would join a team of dedicated equity warriors to collaborate and deliver training to educators and business professionals by engaging them in Equity Alliance MN's Listen2Lead professional development series between March-June, 2021. The expertise needed to be successful and satisfied in this position are: creative, enthusiastic, love of learning and teaching, ability to navigate - or learn quickly - Google, Zoom, Canvas and Powerpoint, and most importantly, an unwavering belief in educational equity for every child.

If you are the person we have eagerly been awaiting, please contact our Executive Director, Sebastian Witherspoon at switherspoon@ea-mn.org.