Forums

Our Educator of Color Forums are the creation of Education Minnesota's Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC), an advisory body that focuses on ethnic minority issues in Minnesota schools. EMAC is made up of 20 Education Minnesota members appointed by President Denise Specht. These members of color hail from around the state and represent classroom teachers, education support professionals and retired members. Learn more about EMAC.

EMAC oversees the activities and goals of the Educators of Color Forums throughout the year. Many members of EMAC are also members of a forum.

The committee meets four times during the school year to discuss issues relating to students and members of color, as well as to track progress being made regarding the implementation of the Affirmative Involvement Plan (AIP). To read the AIP, click here. EMAC is updated throughout the year on the work being done by the forums to keep all members of color connected.

What the forums do

Currently, four forums exist representing four different ethnic groups in Minnesota:

The African American Educators Forum is a network of education professionals who are inspired to provide support and advocacy towards better outcomes for our educators, students, and communities. In 2015-16, AAEF focused on reducing educators’ student loan debt. Read Education Minnesota member Staretta Taylor-Cooper’s op-ed published in MinnPost in April 2016.





The American Indian Education Professionals supports, encourages and advocates for American Indian/Native American educators to create an inclusive and safe learning environment to achieve better outcomes for Native youth. In 2015-16, AIEP focused on expanding college preparatory programs to include Ojibwe/Dakota languages.





The League of Latino Educators is a network of classroom teachers and educational assistants dedicated to the betterment and academic success of all students, with a particular focus on Latino and immigrant youth. In 2015-16, LLE focused on political hate speech. Read Education Minnesota members Paula Cole, Soraya Valedon and Juanita Ortiz’s op-ed published in MinnPost in September 2015.




The Pan Asian Educators Forum is a network of education professionals collectively advocating for Asian students, families and educators. In 2015-16, PAEF focused on disaggregating student data to better illuminate differences between Asian ethnicities. Read Education Minnesota member Alka Goyal’s op-ed published in MinnPost in May 2016.



How to get involved

If you’d like to receive updates from one of the forums, please fill out this form to be added to an email list.

Follow the forums on Facebook!

If you have questions about any of the forums, please email Kimberly Colbert at kimberly.colbert@edmn.org, or call her at 651-247-1897. You can also contact one of the forum leaders below.

African American Educators Forum
Kimberly Colbert, Forum Leader
Saint Paul Federation of Teachers
kimberlycolbert59@gmail.com

American Indian Education Professionals
Alicia Garcia, Forum Leader
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
aliciamzetah@gmail.com

League of Latino Educators
Paula Cole, President
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
paulaycole@gmail.com

Juanita Ortiz, Secretary
Saint Paul Federation of Teachers
juanita.ortiz@spps.org

Gisela Santiago, Treasurer
Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers
gisela_santiago@rdale.org

Soraya Valedón, Vice President
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
soraya.valedon@mpls.k12.mn.us

Pan Asian Educators Forum
Maria Lê, Forum Leader
Education Minnesota Roseville
maria.le@isd623.org

Nan Lu, Forum Leader
Bloomington Federation of Teachers
nlu@isd271.org

Shoua Moua, Forum Leader
Saint Paul Federation of Teachers
teachmoua@gmail.com