Annual Report
2021 Annual Report

Advancing race equity, together.

Letter from MnEEP Executive Director Carlos Mariani Rosa

At MnEEP, our collaborative collaborative seeks to intentionally lift up our spirit for race equity. It provides tools through which we can learn together and develop new knowledge and we convene multi-racial space for listening to one another as we build racially equitable educational systems to advance the success of POCI students.

We share highlights from this year’s exciting MnEEP 5 BBG goals and strategies for racial justice in education and ask you to join us in continuing to drive the movement for change.

Our Theory of Change


Advancing essential anti-racist education policies in the places and in the processes where key decisions are made.


Developing and advancing practices that promote race equity and educational excellence in all education settings.

Resource Flows & Knowledge

Leading research initiatives and policy analysis to develop, advance, and distribute the wisdom and knowledge from racially diverse and culturally inclusive perspectives.

Networks, Relationships, & Connections

Building essential relationships and partnerships with communities, educational institutions, students and educators to advance race equity in education.

Power Dynamics

Developing collaborative, liberating, community-led envisioning engagements and organizing where people of color and American Indian communities can design and advance their plans for educational excellence.

Mental Models

Shifting the way people understand racism and race equity through professional development and advocacy campaigns that advance understanding, empathy, and racial justice.

Our Big Bold Goals

BBG #1: Leading with a Race Equity Lens

Minnesota educational leaders and cultural communities create equitable education systems, structures, and public narratives.

In 2020-21, MnEEP:

Provided race equity skill-building to district superintendents

MnEEP, with thought partners and K-12 leadership professors and researchers at Mankato State University (MNSU), provided equity leadership skills and will-building support to eight Minnesota school superintendents leading community building and equity change.

Provided race equity plan development for schools

MnEEP staff and consultants worked with Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) staff and school leadership for a series of dialogues, learning stops and training that built their capacity around education equity, justice, and community-building.  Six visioning sessions with cultural communities lifted up the equity in education dreams of parents – and were centered in the creation of an Education Equity Framework.

Advocated for Racial Equity in Education Policy and Practice at the State Level:

MnEEP provided thought leadership, research and advocacy support to the Mn Department of Education (MDE), as they improve statewide Distance Learning education with a race equity lens.  MnEEP was represented on three statewide Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) advisories/Governor’s Taskforce.

  1. Member of Minnesota Distance Learning advisory (w/30-35 other education organizations) for MDE.
  2. Co-facilitator of the MN Race Equity advisory for MDE, Fall to Spring 2020-2021.

Including groups such as: Children’s Defense Fund, Ignite After School alliance, Youth Alliance, Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL).

  •  Selected as a member (of 22) of Governor Walz and Lt Governor Flanagan Education Roundtable, advising the final “Due North” plan for Minnesota. See


BBG #2: Building Human Dignity in Schools

Minnesota educational systems are designed to bring students of color and American Indian students into relationships with schools and teachers that promote their human dignity.

In 2020-21, MnEEP:

MnEEP provided school and community leaders with deeper knowledge of school behavior policies and best practices

MnEEP, with thought leadership partner Sankore Consulting, provided facilitation and training  through 4 Learning sessions with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) Diversion committee.

MnEEP developed innovative tools to support the movement to end suspensions and grow positive and dignified school climates

MNEEP School Climate Advisory Council created the School Climate Equity Framework which shared key school restorative justice tools with the Diversion committee.

BBG #3: Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning

Minnesota educational systems advance racially and culturally responsive teaching and learning environments for teachers and students.

In 2020-2021 MnEEP:

Continued to catalyze a learning community/network of cross-sector partners and stakeholders to advance systems change

hifted the narratives about the teaching profession through a web tool

Held professional development learning sessions with over 180 educators through PELSB-certified Culturally Competency in Teaching (CCT) Learning Sessions

BBG #4: Supporting and Advancing Multilingualism

Minnesota educational leaders embrace the language and culture of each student, and value the home language of Black, Latino, Indigenous, and Asian students as vital for their academic success.

In 2020-2021, MnEEP:

Expanded networks and parent engagement for Emerging Multilingual Learners Education Equity Systems Change

In order to impact policies and practices to provide more equitable for Emerging Multilingual Learners (EML) in Minnesota, MnEEP expanded the EML Network and parent engagement sessions on key policy.

  1. Five meetings with English Learner cultural groups from Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) were held to present information on LEAPS and do relationship building for future advocacy.  
  2. Six EML Network meetings were held sharing policy advocacy strategy, promising practices and systems change information.

Supported national EML policy advancement

Maintained a connection to Migrant Policy Institute (MPI) regarding national policy progress on EL and immigrant learners.

Advocated for EL Funding and Policy Improvements:

MnEEP staff and consultants engaged in EML policy advocacy for fidelity of LEAPS implementation and emerging distance learning issues specific to EML students.

BBG #5: Higher Ed Access & Equity

Minnesota higher education systems are transformed to be racially just, responsive, and accessible for students of color and American Indian students.

In 2020-2021 MnEEP:

Convened the College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council (CREAAC) to direct and guide the goals of the organization to shape higher education policy and practice with a racial equity lens.

Community engagement and networking with agency leaders, legislators, higher education institutions, policymakers, and funder to build models for higher ed equity and access

Supported state policy advocacy:

Informed on financial aid and higher education policy areas that can be shaped with a race equity lens

National policy advocacy:

Partnering with national policy orgs to inform how the changing landscape of a racially equitable higher education system and culture can look here in Minnesota and across the nation

MnEEP Team

Carlos Mariani-Rosa

Executive Director

Jennifer Godinez

Associate Executive Director
Program Director, Race Equity and Excellence in Education Network

Leiataua Dr. Jon Peterson

Program Consultant

Nan Yurecko

Superintendent Race Equity Network Consultant

Yvette Massey

Administrative Manager

Rev Hillstrom

Director of Research


Lanise Block
School Climate Institute

Rose Chu
TOCAI Campaign

Rebecca Dessonville

Pete Knippenberg
Tech Inc

Karen Kopacz
Design For The Arts

Steve Paprocki, Mary Beth Schleif, & Matt Hill
Access Philanthropy

Molly Priesmeyer
Good Work Group

Kirsten Wedes
Graphic Designer


Our Board


Dr. Bernadeia Johnson
Chair; Faculty, Minnesota State University Mankato

Josefina Landrieu
Vice Chair; Sr. Director of Equity and Inclusion, Metropolitan State University

Courtney Caldwell
Secretary; Equity Transformation Specialist, Pacific Educational Group

Tricia Wilkinson
Treasurer; University of Minnesota, TRIO Upward Bound


Brian E. Bass
Ed.D., Consultant

Virginia Clay-Chism
IT Director, Medtronic

Dr. Satasha Green-Stephen
Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System

Katie O’Bryan
Professional Learning Specialist,

Dr. Sandy Pulles
Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, Serve Minnesota

Samantha Spencer-Mura
Executive Director, 826 MSP

Dr. Lynette Scott
IB Coordinator/ELA Teacher, Hazel Park Preparatory Academy

Dr. Darrell Stolle
Chair of the Education Department, Concordia College

Pa Dao Yang
Assistant Director of Student Support and Success, Department of Multicultural Life, Macalester College


Strategic Partners

  • Generation Next
  • Hamline University
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Minnesota Department of Human Rights
  • MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)
  • Mankato State University, Courageous Leadership Institute
  • Youthprise

Education Partners

  • Brooklyn Center School District
  • Hopkins School District
  • Minnesota Private College Council
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Northwest Suburban Integration School District
  • Osseo Area School District
  • Robbinsdale Area School District
  • St. Paul Public Schools
  • University of Minnesota

Our Funders

  • 3M Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • CBI Propel
  • Otto Bremer Foundation
  • ECMC Foundation
  • Enterprise Holdings Foundation
  • Graves Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Minneapolis Foundation
  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Mortenson Foundation
  • Sauer Funders
  • Securian Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Foundation