RJN presents at the Inaugural “Solutions Not Suspensions (SNS) Working Conference”

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Racial Justice NOW! (RJN) is a community based, grassroots org led by parents pushing back on dehumanization in education.

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The Inaugural “Solutions Not Suspensions (SNS) Working Conference”May 8 (3)

MnEEP’s Minnesota Black Male Achievement Network hosted its inaugural Solutions Not Suspensions Working Conference at the Minnesota Humanities Event Center in St. Paul.  Seven district leadership teams gathered to deep dive into discussions on discipline, disproportionality and alternatives to suspension.

It was exciting to see all levels of district staff represented at the conference including, Directors of Research, Equity and Diversity, Special Education and Student Services, additional educators included associate superintendents, behavior deans and building administrators.    Add to the mix guest speakers from the national Dignity in Schools Movement and local presenters, the conference was abuzz with ideas, opportunities and commitments to stay connected across districts.

The greatest take away from the day was the level of commitment to interrupt business as usual and make inroads in blocking the School to Prison Pipeline.  Thank you to the participants, presenters, volunteers and staff that brought this conference to life.  This is just the beginning.  Watch our E Alerts for ways to stay connected in the future! The conference information will be posted here soon!


Friday, May 8th, 8:00 am-3:30 pm Minnesota Humanities Commission, 987 Ivy Ave E. St. Paul, MN 55106

Purpose: As a result of this conference school leadership teams will be better equipped to address discipline disparities within their district, at the building level and in partnership with community.


  • Explore model discipline codes and case studies showcasing district efforts across the nation
  • Premier SNS Discipline Toolkit™ MnEEP’s newest resource developed to support districts from policy analysis through systems implementation and evaluation
  • Create/ strengthen district leadership teams that will respond to and address disproportionality in the discipline gap

National and Local Presenters:

Brenda Casselius, Minnesota Commissioner of Education

Fernando Martinez, National Dignity In Schools Campaign

Zakiya Sankara Jabar,  Co-Founder Racial Justice NOW! Coordinating Committee Co-chair at Dignity in Schools Campaign and Urban Education Alliance Coordinator at Black Man’s Think Tank, Dayton, Ohio

Jonathan Hamilton, Director of Research, MnEEP

Deborah Moore, Director UMN Youth Work Learning Lab, School of Social Work, College of Education + Human Development

Sarah Davis, Director, Legal Rights Center (LRC): Youth, Education, Advocacy, Restorative Services Program, and has been the Youth Advocate Attorney at the LRC

Rob Wilson, Doctoral student in the School of Social Work, Univ of Minnesota

Northside Youth Participatory Action Research Team, Youthprise/ MN Alliance for Youth

Marika Pfefferkorn, Director, Minnesota Solutions Not Suspension Campaign, MnEEP

District Leadership Team Tracks:

Discipline 101:

This track is intended for districts or staff new to addressing the discipline gap and disproportionality in the suspension of Students of Color.

Research, Evaluation & Assessment:

This track is intended for researchers responsible for OCR reporting , developing and monitoring a data dashboard, and data driven decision making.

Community & Youth Engagement:

This track is intended for district level community and youth engagement professionals interested in learning about  Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), sharing successful strategies for empowering parents and community members to drive solutions in ongoing discipline efforts

Professional Engagement:

This track is intended for district leadership involved in developing district professional development institutes in response to the discipline gap, supporting school wide discipline planes, special education, engaging and facilitating building teams from analysis to implementation.

Conference Schedule:

8:00 – Registration opens

8:30 – Welcome, Breakfast & Conference Overview

9:00 – National Keynote

9:30 – Workshop Session #1

10:45– Workshop Session #2

12:00 – Working Lunch

1:30 – Workshop Session #3

2:40 – Team Action Planning

3:30 – Conference Debrief & Action Commitments

4:00 – Conference Close & Evaluation

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