Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition
As an organization, Education for Liberation Minnesota is a proud member of the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition. The MN Ethnic Studies Coalition (MESC) began in the fall of 2019 after a group of Latina high school students, working with the organization Unidos MN, began traveling across the Twin Cities, and beyond, educating people about Ethnic Studies. The students organized under the slogan “Our history, our schools” for the inclusion of Latinx history in the curriculum of Minnesota schools. Groups of youth and adults, many of whom had participated in the 2019 Free Minds Free People conference, began to heed the call of these young women to expand curricular offerings across the state.
Several organizational leaders from Unidos MN, Education Evolving, Education for Liberation MN, the Coalition for Asian American Leadership, the Asian American Opportunities Project, and newly formed Ethnic Studies departments in St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools began to strategize how to best advocate alongside the youth leaders.
In 2020 the decision was made to pack the MN social studies revision committee, led by the MN Department of Education (MDE), to demand that Ethnic Studies be included in social studies curricula. After a successful multi year campaign the members of the committee were able to successfully include a “5th strand” in the proposed standards focused on Ethnic Studies authored by members of our growing coalition.
Given that curricular expansion is the goal of our coalition, our base is wide and ranging. Among our members are educators, high school and college-age youth, parents, higher education faculty, education advocates, educators union members, and community organizers.
The MN Ethnic Studies Coalition has three primary goals:
- The inclusion of Ethnic Studies as a 5th strand of the MN social studies standards
- Passing the Ethnic Studies for All bill to require all Minnesota students have access to Ethnic Studies courses in K-12
- The creation of Ethnic Studies teaching licenses
For more information, click here.
Let’s Get Free Saturdays!
Education for Liberation Minnesota created a series of learning opportunities for the community in July 2023. It will be our way of expanding the work that we did with our BIPOC Educator cohorts and providing an intergenerational space for children, youth, and adults to deepen their knowledge of Ethnic Studies content and pedagogy and community organizations that have been doing the important work of educating their communities in the Twin Cities.
BIPOC Ethnic Studies Learning Cohort
Education for Liberation Minnesota created a learning community for BIPOC teachers about Ethnic Studies. The learning community included 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.
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.