Minneapolis, Minnesota, works to strengthen Native American
families and improves the life chances of Native American children
living in the urban area of the Twin Cites. Many of the community
systems do not serve Native Americans well. This is particularly
the case with the public schools that have a long history of
disconnect with Native American students and families.
How are they helping to improve high school graduation
Migizi operates the Native Academy (NAC) -- a middle and
high school program focusing on science, technology, and math that
has developed into a nationally recognized model for Indian student
success. They work to increase academic performance, graduation
rates, and postsecondary enrollment rates of Indian students.
Migizi has played a prominent role in mobilizing community
engagement to improve student success
of Native American youth in the schools. This led to a landmark
Memorandum of Agreement
between the Native
American Community and the Minneapolis school board governing how
the schools will work with Native American students and families.
Two Native American staff work in the schools to help teachers and
administrators develop culturally relevant approaches to curriculum
and relationships with students and families. The community has
reclaimed their primary role in the education of their
Creating collective leadership capacity. As Migizi works with the
schools, they partner with other organizations and communities of
color to advance the work of educational equity. Often systems
create competition among communities of color for limited
resources. This can lead to distrust. Migizi has learned how to
honor the conversations that need to take place in each community
and then invite groups to construct together, coalitions for
educational equity. They have established strong relationships,
based on deep listening and mutual respect, with a number of
communities of color including the Somali, Latino, African
American, and Hmong communities.
They also partner with the Organizers Apprentice Project
to use their
Racial Equity report card
to monitor the racial
disparity impacts in the schools.