Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Parent-led equity groups in Minneapolis aim to address racism in their own schools


Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

Jefferson Community School Principal Holly Kleppe greeted students returning to school Feb. 8 in Minneapolis.

Gbemisola Saunders helped form the Welcoming Equity Committee at Minneapolis' Hale Elementary six years ago. She stayed involved because her son, who is Black, repeatedly came home talking about being bullied for his skin color.

She wanted other parents to know - and do something about - what he was experiencing. And she wanted their equity efforts to go well beyond simply planning a Black History Month celebration.

Similar parent-led racial equity groups have recently sprouted or attracted new interest at other elementary schools, including Burroughs, Armatage, Kenwood and Northrop. Their work to address racial disparities in Minneapolis schools has taken on more urgency after the death of George Floyd and amid the controversial redesign that will reshuffle the racial demographics at schools citywide. But so far, many of the groups are at white-majority schools and consist of mostly white parents.


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