Volume 6 | January 2021
Be a Part of the Arc Towards Justice

From the desk of Sebastian Witherspoon
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." These are the words of the prophetic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
I have been thinking about this quote for some time now considering the current state of America and the reckoning of racial unrest that needs to take place on American soil. Educators find themselves in a time where there is even more of a realization and call to action that significant ground needs to be made up. A historic pandemic that has ravished the American people and its children have educators anticipating individual and systemic impact. Those who fear change will doggedly try to maintain what they believe to be the natural social order, However, I sincerely hope that the people of goodwill and justice decide the fate of our Union. 
Now, more than ever, educators conceptualize how important it is to engage in and deepen their racial equity lenses. Having a deep and profound understanding of who we serve and the collective experiences of our families, students, and communities matters to each student’s ultimate outcome. 
The arc that Dr. King spoke of requires all folks of goodwill to stand courageous and speak up. We need to speak up when we see wrongdoing. We need to work toward change when situations, accessibility, and circumstances are inequitable or unfair. It is our collective responsibility to take on these tough challenges that we face. It is also our responsibility to care for the young people's lives and be courageous in doing so.
We need to challenge ourselves to create an equitable education system that benefits all. We need to reason with one another more often and learn how to disagree with civility. I am extremely hopeful that this can be done here and now. We are living in one of the greatest informational decades in history; we can learn from and with one another. Our Minnesota Public School systems rank in the top best school systems in the nation in some ways, but a success gap exists when we disaggregate the data. We can no longer accept excuses. This reminds me of other reflections of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," and "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Equity Audits Identify Systemic Concerns
An Equity Audit is a process that supports a district through data-informed practices to guide decision-making, implementation and action on how to develop context specific strategies to school-community concerns. It is an approach to identify systemic issues and concerns that can be addressed over time through commitment to building relationships, addressing disparities, providing support and continued focus on results through continuous improvement.

Equity Alliance MN works collaboratively with districts supplying the necessary framework, research, tools and support to complete a comprehensive Equity Audit for school districts and organizations. Our process is structured to gather quantitative and qualitative data and information through a thorough process to understand the outcomes of current systems, as well as the current climate and perceptions of lived experiences.

Working With You In Ways That Work For You
Equity Alliance MN, along with many of us, shifted in the ways in which we worked and partnered with organizations and school districts. One of the shifts we made was investing in an online learning platform. We now use Canvas to support professional development, learning cohorts, equity audits and equity action planning. Having this tool has transformed the way we have been able to meet our partners needs in ways we hadn't in the past. By building this platform to include our curriculum, guides and resources, we can now provide more support and more information to you, when it works for you.
Staff Spotlight - Chris Devine
Chris Devine joined the Equity Alliance MN team in 2019 and continues to be a key player on our team as the Director of Organizational Innovation. From behind the scenes operations to co-presenting professional development sessions, Chris continues to be a true asset to our team. He is our go-to person for just about anything technology-related and helped us pivot from in-person delivery to providing virtual sessions using Zoom and getting our curriculum on to our online Learning Management System, Canvas. Learn more about Chris here.
Equity Alliance MN is Here to Support You
Every organization strives to deliver the highest quality service to the clientele they serve. To do this, successfully identifying the diverse needs of internal and external stakeholders requires first understanding how culture impacts every facet of your organization. The ability to work effectively across difference and leverage those differences as an asset is critical to your organization’s long term growth and success. Consultation, facilitation, executive coaching, implementation support, are some of the other ways we work to support schools, districts, and organizations. Here's a printable flyer and you can also learn more on our website.