As Associate Director, Jennifer uses her in-depth experience and expertise to provide key insight and plans and policy recommendations in youth and education development, college access programs, and race equity strategy and policy. In her more than 10 years at MnEEP, she has led new initiatives in race equity planning and research that have garnered national attention, and provided fund development strategy and program evaluation that have allowed us to continue to grow support and funding for essential work at MnEEP.

Since 2012, she has led the Race Equity and Excellence in Education Network—developing action research projects and race equity action plans with community leaders, families, and educators in rural areas of Minnesota.

In addition to her work at MnEEP,  Jennifer has served as a leader on several Minnesota nonprofit boards and education teams, providing essential insight on race equity and community development in Minnesota. Her thought leadership on emerging demographics and the transformation of education institutions and public policy has been featured in the Star Tribune, MPR, NewsHour, and teacher development publications.  She has won several awards for her work in race equity and is a German Marshall Fellow of the German Marshall Fund.

Key focus areas:  

  • Education Policy
  • Education Research
  • Race Equity in Education
  • Equity Action Plans
  • School-Community partnerships
  • Immigrant students

What inspires you to do this work?

I am inspired by all the talent and contributions that communities of color, immigrant communities, and American Indian communities make to our society.  Addressing race equity in education means unleashing more talent and adding to the prosperity of our entire nation.

Why is this work so crucial in Minnesota?

In order to reach a strong economic and social wellbeing for all of Minnesota,  it’s essential that we address opportunity gaps and invest in strong education equity pathways. They must be part of any equation for success in Minnesota.

What do you hope to see change through your work?

This work is about the wellbeing of our entire community. Not only will communities of color, immigrant youth, and American Indian communities thrive as a result of this work, but our entire community will be stronger from a diverse and culturally responsive education system and equitable communities.

 What do you love most about your work?

I love that I can work collectively with families, students, educators, school leaders, and policymakers to bring to life our mission.  Social movements and social change come from inspiring an entire community to support and engage in new policies and practices—and that takes everyone working together!

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Race Equity and Excellence in Education Network (REEEN)

Leading with an equity lens: Lessons from REEEN in the MN education ecosystem

Education leaders, community members, and students comprise the Race Equity and Excellence in Education Network (REEEN) to inform important equity planning in Greater Minnesota. We have learned a lot from these partnerships and from our role in building the capacity of leaders and communities to use an equity lens in their equity planning, leading, and systems change work. 

Here are some important lessons we have learned, and how we can continue to use them to build race equity in education:

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