The extraordinary circumstances our world has experienced over the past two years has no doubt reaffirmed that the only constant in our lives is change. As many of you already know, there are significant changes that will be impacting our organization in the future. Currently, Equity Alliance MN operates as a collaborative of five member districts – Forest Lake Area, Inver Grove Heights, Roseville Area, South St. Paul, and White Bear Lake Area. Those member districts have recently taken formal action to approve the termination of their respective Joint Powers Agreement with Equity Alliance MN and the dissolution of the organization. Essentially what this means is that they are no longer paying membership dues to Equity Alliance MN. This change is partly because most school districts are able to have dedicated staff to the work of equity in their respective districts. Unfortunately, the combination of no membership dues and a dwindling fund balance has led to the realization that we cannot continue operations beyond this fall. Equity Alliance will cease operations after all our outstanding contracts have been fulfilled (fall 2022) and will close all business officially on June 30th 2023.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances that have led to Equity Alliance’s closing, we are excited to share that the Youth Executive Board (YEB) and the Culturally Responsive Student Leadership (CRSL) programming will continue to grow and thrive as new programming within StoryArk. The mission of StoryArk is to empower student voices and equip young artists to thrive. StoryArk’s student initiated, student led creative process focuses on building life skills through a passion for storytelling and the desire to communicate and be in relationship with each other.
StoryArk’s Founder and Executive Director, Stephani Atkins, along with Meghan Bridges, the Director of Student Programming, have been working directly with our students throughout the year and have worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition in the continuity of student programming for both our summer programming as well YEB and CRSL programming for the 2022-23 school year.
We are so grateful to StoryArk for providing our young people the ongoing opportunity to showcase their brilliance, to grow and develop as leaders, and elevate their voices to continue making a difference in their schools and communities. To learn more about StoryArk, please visit their website at https://storyark.org/. If you have any questions about their Youth Executive Board or Culturally Responsive Student Leadership programming, please contact Meghan Bridges at email@example.com.
Since its inception in 1995, Equity Alliance MN has been fortunate to have had passionate, talented, and dedicated staff who have been steadfast in their efforts to ensure every student receives the resources and support they need to thrive. All of us at Equity Alliance MN know that despite the closing of this organization the work of equity must and should continue. Thus current and previous staff members are preparing to continue doing equity work in their own organizations so they can continue to be fierce advocates for all of our students. We extend our gratitude and appreciation to each individual who has contributed to the success and legacy of the organization and we look forward to partnering with some of you in future projects.
All of us at Equity Alliance MN give our deepest gratitude to each school district and organization that we’ve had the honor to collaborate with over the past 25 years. We wish to recognize our member districts and our board for their unwavering support and partnership. Most of all, we wish to thank our students. It has been our greatest privilege to learn, grow, and walk alongside our young people and we will be forever grateful for the impact they have had in all of our lives.
Dr. Alex Hermida
The East Metro Integration District (EMID) has been providing Culturally Relevant Learning since 1995, through professional learning and student programs in member district schools. Our current member districts are listed to the right. In 1995, the Tri-District created the Harambee Elementary School. In 2001, EMID formed the Crossroads Middle School. In 2014, the Minnesota Legislature conveyed Harambee to Roseville Area Schools and Crosswinds to Perpich Center for the Arts.
Since the conveyance of the schools, EMID has increased its focus on providing programs and support services focused around professional learning and student programming. Our offerings in both areas have increased, especially in the AVID programs. Interest in our services also has increased in districts, schools, and individuals outside of our member districts.
As part of the EMID Board’s strategic direction to grow the organization’s customer base, we have rebranded ourselves, creating an image and message that is a better reflection of who we are now versus the name “East Metro Integration District.” Some of our members and other clients are not in the “east” metro. The term “district” is harder to explain now that we don’t operate schools.
Therefore, EMID now is doing business as (DBA) Equity Alliance MN.
Our new logo shows the swirling movement of interconnected but separate entities, working in an alliance with other partners, moving toward the goal of educational equity.
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