During a May 17th Meet & Greet, held by the Minneapolis School District to introduce the two finalists for superintendent; Brenda Cassellius and Ed Graff; the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board together with the You(th) Are Here Engagement Team and their Revolutionary Approach to Groundbreaking Empowerment (R.A.G.E.) was in full effect connecting with the two finalists as an advocate for the young people they serve.
Once on site at the Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center the YCB You(th) Are Here Engagement Team did what they do best.. authentically engaged and met the final superintendant candidates where they are. During this Meet & Greet event the You(th) Are Here Engagement Team also invited local students from the Anwatin Middle School where they provide an important role in redirecting the energy and culture within troubled institutional spaces to assist young people in taking responsibility over their personal development through life choices. This engagement with the candidates and facilitating student participation led to a lot of highlight and awareness by local news media of their passionate appeal to benefit the lives of young people in Minneapolis.
Click Links To See More You(th) Are Here Moments
Fox 9 News http://www.fox9.com/news/142118124-story
During, then candidate, Ed Graff’s Q&A session one of the Anwatin Middle School students stepped up to ask him “What would you do to improve my school if you were to become the new Superintendant?”. After his answer with a well meaning statement the young student said, “Well if that’s true, what are you doing tomorrow, cause you should come to our school and see what its really like!” A little stunned Ed Graff replied “I am not sure what my schedule is like for that but I will definitely try to make it happen.”, and proceeded to look to one of his collegues for some indication on his schedule and an ability to agree to the students request on the spot.
After both candidates had their opportunity to speak, the You(th) Are Here Engagement Team spoke with Ed Graff about making a commitment to taking a tour through Anwatin Middle School, which is one of the several Mpls Public Schools that they are active in. He stressed his serious commitment and worked with the You(th) Are Here Engagement Team to lock in a time the next day to tour the school.
The next day he showed up and was eager to connect with the young student who spoke out, and requested him to come through, along with Principal Steve Flucas and Vice Principal Lorraine Rhoads to get a first-hand look at the conditions students and staff are experiencing within this school.
This was a catalyst moment in helping him to take a leadership role and secure his bid for superintendant. Since taking the new position he has had to begin making the needed arrangements to transition back to Minnesota and we will bring you those updates soon!