Education for Liberation Minnesota Chapter


Social Justice & Teachers’ Unions

Friday, April 30th, 2021
On Friday, April 30th, EdLib MN hosted a public event that focused on centering social justice in labor education movements. We heard from Jesse Hagopian, co-editor of Social Justice and Teachers’ Unions, and Robin Wonsley Worlobah, who is in the running to be Minneapolis’ first Black Socialist City Council member.
More from the Speakers
Ethnic Studies: From Policy to the Classroom

About the Panelists

Pang Yang is a dedicated multilingual veteran teacher and the mother of seven children. Pang is also a founder of Project Tshav Ntuj, a movement to destigmatize mental health in the Hmong community, and a new non-profit, MN Zej Zog, which empowers the Hmong community by nurturing the Hmong language, healing through the arts and wellness, and becoming more powerful through education across the generations.

Andrew Gonzales currently teaches middle school STEM, Ethnic Studies, and the History of Pop Music at Lively Middle School in Austin, TX. For the previous 5 years, he taught Ethnic Studies at the high school level, was a member of the curriculum design team, and a teacher of the Ethnic Studies course in Austin since its inaugural year.

Ismael Jimenez is a dedicated educator who, for the last fifteen years, has worked with students in Philadelphia from preschool age to high school. Currently, Ismael is a core member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee, Black Lives Matter Philly, founding member of the Melanated Educators Collective, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative.

Dr. Emily Bautista's commitment to advancing Ethnic Studies began as a youth organizer at UCLA and continued in her work as a Los Angeles high school teacher, school leader, and founding member of the People's Education Movement in Los Angeles. As a scholar-activist, Emily's research explores Transformative Youth Organizing as a decolonizing social movement framework.

Moderator: Dr. Curtis Acosta was a high school teacher for nearly 20 years in Tucson, Arizona, where he developed and taught Chican@/Latin@ Literature classes for the renowned Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. He is an award-winning educator was featured in the documentaries Precious Knowledge and Dolores.

On Monday, November 23rd, 2020, Education for Liberation Minnesota hosted a panel of teacher/activists from states across the country that have passed or are currently considering some form of Ethnic Studies legislation. Panelists include Pang Yang (MN), Andrew Gonzales (Austin, TX), Ismael Jimenez (Philadelphia, PA), and Dr. Emily Bautista (Los Angeles, CA). The session was moderated by Curtis Acosta from the Education for Liberation Network.

Sponsored by the Education for Liberation Network and the Macalester College Educational Studies Department.

BIPOC Ethnic Studies Learning Cohort Virtual Kick-Off 

On August 6th, 2020, Education for Liberation Minnesota hosted a virtual kickoff event via Zoom to introduce the Ethnic Studies learning cohort to prospective mentees and mentors.

To watch the video with the chat messages (which include various links and resources), click here. Password: vp1gcQ&y

Info about and resources from presenters

Mankwe Ndosi


Dr. Rose Brewer


Youth Ethnic Studies Coalition video

Link for youth in Minnesota to share their perspectives on Ethnic Studies via short videos


Dr. Meredith McCoy

Presentation slides

Article about the lesson plan Dr. McCoy shared: “Beyond Pocahontas: Learning from Indigenous Women Changemakers,” co-authored with Sarah B. Shear, Leilani Sabzalian, and Lakota Pochedly as the Turtle Island Social Studies Collective. Social Studies and the Young Learner 31, no. 3 (2019): 7–13.


Dr. McCoy requests that you support the work of local movements and organizations that support Native youth (such as MIGIZI) as a way to honor her work.


Dr. Jimmy Patino

Chicano movement in Westside St. Paul


Dr. Yuichiro Onishi


Pang Yang, Park Center High School, Osseo Public Schools

Presentation slides


Rahel Tekam


Participatory Budgeting Project


BIPOC Ethnic Studies Learning Cohort

Education for Liberation Minnesota is creating a learning community for BIPOC teachers about Ethnic Studies. The learning community will be comprised of teachers, youth, community-based organizations and higher education faculty who focus on Ethnic Studies. Through a series of workshops, a summer camp, and a statewide conference, we will provide a rigorous framework for BIPOC educators to explore their own racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and to connect with others within and across racial and ethnic groups. We will also support them in developing culturally responsive and affirming practices in their classrooms in schools. Through this work, Education for Liberation Minnesota aims to equip teachers with tools and strategies to push for changes in their administration, classrooms, and school to make them more affirming spaces for all students and teachers.

Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition

As an organization, Education for Liberation Minnesota is a proud member of the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition. The Ethnic Studies Coalition is made up of organizations across the state and include youth, parents, educators, researchers, policy makers, and activists. The Coalition was formed in 2019 to build the necessary capacity to demand that the state of Minnesota effectively educate all students by providing a more holistic and accurate curriculum. For more information, click here.

Participatory Action Research

The following websites are intended to provide resources for anyone interested in engaging in PAR work and the ethics and power of grassroots, community-centered research and action for social justice. They were created by a university-affiliated participatory action research team in collaboration with community researchers and partners. One of the Principal Investigators is Anita Chikkatur, Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Carleton College and a member of Ed Lib MN.

Carleton-Faribault Sites

In collaboration with the Faribault Public Schools, Somali Community Resettlement Services, and Community without Borders

Carleton College Sites

MPD150 Report Companion Curriculum

In the summer after the murder of George Floyd and the beginning of the Minneapolis Uprising, a group of Twin Cities students and educators came together to create an accompanying curriculum to the MPD150 Report, a community-written history of the Minneapolis Police Department. We wrote this because it’s important to us, and wanted to make sure our school communities had some resources to teach this important work to contextualize and understand the long history bringing us to this moment. It’s not just a brief current event to mention and return to the previously scheduled programming. Where are we going now? Let’s go!

More Resources

Panel: “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught: Our classrooms are where our children get their social lenses” featuring Brian Lozenski and Rose Brewer

Radio Interview: Brian Lozenski on Steele Talkin’ with Jearlyn Steele – The Push for Ethnic Studies in Minnesota Social Studies State Standards (begins at the 8:06 mark)

Statement: “Schools without police: Our vision for liberatory education in Minneapolis and beyond” by The Education for Liberation Network, MN Chapter

Article: “On ‘learning loss’ and the critical need to address existing inequities in education” by Joaquin Muñoz and Jennifer Diaz

Article: “The Black Radical Tradition Can Help Us Imagine a More Just World” by Brian Lozenski

Article: “Stay in public schools: The anti-racism we need from white families during the pandemic” by Abby Rombalski & Anita Chikkatur

Article: “As Campuses Cut Ties to Police, Sociology Departments Must Do the Same” by Rahsaan Mahadeo

Article: “The Time for Ethnic Studies is Now” by Brian Lozenski and Jonathan Hamilton

Ethnic Studies Policy Brief – Minnesota Education Equity Partnership

Ethnic Studies legislative efforts:

  1. HF 2827: Ethnic comparative studies included in social studies education requirements

  2. HF 824/SF 1012: Increase teachers of color Act 2019

  3. Bill to create ethnic studies mandate in the state [being worked on by Navigate MN/Ethnic Studies Coalition]


Unidos MN/Navigate MN



Asian American Organizing Project

Social Studies Standard Review Committee (meeting schedule)


Logo Artist Melanie Cervantes on the design: The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean he or see can make the profile, can shape the students. What an educator does in teaching is to make it possible for students to become themselves. – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
“The pattern in the back is composed of a symbol of a ball game that the Spanish colonizers outlawed the Mexica (“Aztec”) would play. It is intended to connect the portrait of the young with ancestors many generations removed.”

Free Minds Free People 2019

The Minnesota Chapter of the Education for Liberation Network began in the summer of 2019 immediately following the Free Minds, Free People Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Ed Lib Minnesota is comprised of the core 2019 FMFP local organizing committees along with a growing network of teachers, youthworkers, teaching aids, educators’ union organizers, academics, policy advocates, parents, and youth-led organizations. The goal of Ed Lib MN is to be a political force in the state of MN to contend with the status quo of colonial education that prioritizes Eurocentric curricula, predominantly white educators and administrators, and a persistent attack on the power of communities to be self-determined.

The Political Landscape of Education in Minnesota

“Mnísóta”, is a Dakota word, which means “clear blue water”, or “Mnißota”, which means “cloudy water”. The state of Minnesota occupies Dakota and Anishanabe land. It has been and become home to many Indigenous peoples. Minnesota exists on sacred and stolen Dakota land, where communities continue to fight each day for survival. Indigenous justice and land rights are a core component of the educational struggle that confronts us.

Like other states in the US, Minnesota faces the consequences of the systematic dispossession of humanizing, quality education from our youth and communities. Our local struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, ethnic studies, equitable funding for education, recruiting diverse teachers, eliminating police from schools, culturally sustaining curriculum, and schools that deserve our youth mirror that of many other places across the nation. Yet, Minnesota is unique in terms of our demographic make-up, and potential for alignment across multiple municipalities. The state is home to large populations of immigrant and refugee communities from East and West Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia along with Indigenous communities and African Americans. Each of these communities have youth navigating traditional public and charter schools. Consequently, there is a strong network of youth organizers and leaders across the state.