Welcoming Community: Educational Equity 

In a previous newsletter, we highlighted a quote by Maya Angelou which said, “Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.”  

For Black History month we want to highlight a topic highly intertwined with the need for teaching Black history: Educational Equity. 

Education is a central component in shaping the future of our communities. What students are taught today, the growth opportunities they are provided, the disciplinary policies they are subject to, and the examples of excellence they see, will influence their understanding of society and where they fit within it. Educational equity seeks to remove barriers to success by examining structures and policies contributing to inequitable outcomes, addressing biases, identifying gaps in teaching materials, and creating inclusive equitable opportunities for all students. 

Efforts are being undertaken by various groups in northeast Minnesota to promote educational equity and provide students across the education system and within our communities with accurate and honest representations of the past, as well as equitable opportunities to develop within and contribute to their communities. 

A recognition of the past and continuing inequities in educational environments can help local governments, community members, and organizations advocate for educational equity for all community members in the region.  

Welcoming efforts around educational equity might consist of:  

  • Including historical and current examples of excellence from cultural and racial backgrounds that have been historically marginalized  
  • Educating about past and present challenges to educational equity 
  • Identifying and addressing barriers that contribute to disparities in educational outcomes 
  • Considering how policies related to education will impact historically underrepresented groups 

Considering educational equity is essential to understanding a more complete picture of equity across the Northland. Visit the Resources to Explore section below to learn more about current initiatives and stories around educational equity in the Northland.  

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” —Ida B. Wells 

Continued Learning

The goal of the Welcoming Community program is to provide continued opportunities for learning and connection related to topics relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our region. In our monthly emails, we highlight a specific equity topic and provide resources related to the monthly theme. 

The theme for the month of February is Educational Equity. When exploring the learnings in the Resources to Explore section, we ask that you consider the following question: 

“In terms of educational equity in northeast Minnesota, where have we come from, where are we now, and what steps do we need to take to reach an equitable future?” 

Resources to Explore 

* * * 

The Duluth Lyceum Returns in a New Location!

As highlighted in our December newsletter, the Duluth Lyceum has been an ongoing initiative of the Welcoming Community programming since March of 2022. After a brief break, the Duluth Lyceum is returning in March of 2023 at a new location: the Duluth Folk School/Dovetail Cafe.  

“We have so appreciated the generosity from the owners and staff of Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in donating their meeting space and partnering with us to launch the Duluth Lyceum in 2022,” said Welcoming Community Program Coordinator, Amber Lewis. “This year, our goal is to broaden our audience for the Lyceum, and we feel the Duluth Folk School and Dovetail Cafe will help us do just that.” 

The Lyceum movement began in the nineteenth century and at its height over 3,000 lyceums existed across the United States. The national lyceum movement is seeking to bring life back to the idea of engaging community members in conversation and around topics significant on a local and national level outside of a traditional academic or government setting.   

The next Duluth Lyceum is planned for March 23, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Duluth Folk School/Dovetail Cafe with the theme of Exploring Culture.

Register for the March Duluth Lyceum

* * * 

Welcoming: In the News! 

* * *  

Photo Credit: Matthew Sauser, Matthew Sauser Photography 

Welcoming Events Across the Northland 

Many initiatives are ongoing to support Welcoming across northeast Minnesota. Listed below are some in-person and digital opportunities to explore and participate in! 

Do you know about a connection opportunity we could highlight in an upcoming newsletter? Submit events to alewis@northspan.org by March 5, 2023. 

The Itasca Lyceum: Can We Have Heroes?

February 27, 2023
Rapids Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MN
Learn more here 

What All Kids Need: A Community Conversation

March 2, 2023 from 7 – 9 p.m.
online and in-person
Lake Superior College, Room M255
Learn more here 

Cook County Higher Education
Ojibwe Language Lab/Practice Session
March 7, 2023 from 6 -7 p.m.
Learn more here 

Accepting Applications: Minnesota Rural-Urban Exchange

Application Deadline: March 10, 2023
Learn more here 

The Current Collective
Campfire Conversations

March 16, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Duluth Folk School
Learn more here 

The Duluth Lyceum: Exploring Culture

March 23, 2023
Duluth Folk School/Dovetail Cafe, Duluth, MN
Learn more here 

Ongoing Events

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Ke Go Naa! Language Lessons

Tuesdays from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Learn more

Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging
Classes, Workshops, Trainings

Learn more here

Entrepreneur Fund: Stride
Learn more here

Members Cooperative Credit Union
Financial Education Webinars

Learn more here
Banzai Financial Wellness Library 

Fond du Lac Language and Cultural Center

Wednesday Events
5 – 8 p.m.
Learn more here

Minnesota Women’s Press
Changemakers Alliance

Learn more here


* * * 

Invite a Friend  

If you know others in your community who are interested in participating with Welcoming Community programming, please share this blog post so they can learn more & Click Here to join our email list. 

Contact Northspan’s Welcoming Community Program Coordinator Amber Lewis at alewis@northspan.org with any questions.