Volume 02 | September 2020
The Alliance - our monthly news & updates
YOU Matter!

From the desk of Sebastian Witherspoon
I believe an educator is akin to a pastor, a nurse, and other professions that require altruism and selflessness. As educators are welcoming our young people back into learning spaces, each staff member needs to know that what they do matters. I hope that someone, somewhere stops and shares how important our educators are in the lives of kids! Without their work, many students will undoubtedly fall through the cracks. Educators matter because they are nurturing the tender hearts and minds of the very individuals who will influence the future and those who our elders will depend on. A simple thank you, though incredibly important, does not suffice as our educational staff embrace this sacred responsibility which requires compassion, patience, and hope, particularly during these unprecedented times. 

These are times in which we can clearly see the disparities among students, where educators' selfless actions are paramount and will be the deciding factor between sustained success and possible failure! Without their hard work and tireless efforts to create a safe and welcoming space where all of our students have a fair opportunity to thrive and flourish, our learners will continually suffer and fail to reap the promises our country claims to offer all of its citizens. 

Whether you are a counselor, paraprofessional, teacher, principal, district leader or superintendent, you may feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed or out of sorts, please remember with deep gratitude:
PELSB Training Now Available in a Hybrid Model
Equity Program Specialists have been busy this summer creating a hybrid version of the PELSB (Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board) approved Cultural Competency training that is delivered through Canvas, Equity Alliance’s chosen learning management system. This training blends live and asynchronous learning and is centered on the Minnesota Cultural Competency Rule. This training is highly engaging and has interactive experiences where educators can navigate through modules designed to provide opportunities for deep and meaningful reflection on culture, bias, and the impacts of bias on students.
Equity Alliance MN collaborated on a design team of racially, culturally, and gender diverse expert consultants that was convened by PELSB to identify key concepts, issues, and high leverage practices for the training. We also bring an expert lens to this work and now that the training is offered through Canvas, educators have the opportunity to practice strategies online to utilize with their students. 

Contact us today to learn more about PELSB Trainings for you and your district!
EA-MN Provides PD to Meet Your Needs
Equity Alliance MN welcomed multiple districts including over 300 teachers, administrators, and board members throughout the last week of August to help them prepare for the incoming school year. The topics for the sessions ranged from Cultural Competence, Mindset from our tiered professional development series, and specialized staff sessions customized to meet the unique needs of the district, school, or organization being served. Each training was completed virtually simultaneously using the Equity Alliance Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) and Zoom Video Conferencing. Participants shared appreciation for these sessions by sharing, “Thank you so much for this! Such a great presentation and I'm looking forward to working with you all!!,” “Thank you for including all students in this discussion and speaking hard truths,” and, “Thanks EA folks! Much appreciation for what you’re doing for our community.”

Learn more about our professional development options and how we can work with your team!
What Our Colleagues are Saying About Equity Alliance MN
"White Bear Lake Area Schools has benefited greatly in being a partner district with Equity Alliance MN.  From the collaboration with member districts to the professionalism of Sebastian and his team, our work around interrupting systemic equities has been enhanced.  Our staff and leaders readily seek Equity Alliance MN for support and professional development.  All leave feeling supported in their growth and compelled to action with strategies that have been learned.  I look forward to strengthening this partnership in the years to come."
~ Dr. Alison Gillespie, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
White Bear Lake Area School District  
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