EoCRG Back To School Edition

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  • New Website Coming Soon: RPS will be building a space on their main page for general information on the Employees of Color Resource Group (EoCRG). Stay tune for more details!

  • Mentorship for New Teachers of Color (in your first 3 years at RPS) and collaboration between Educator of Color will continue this year! Please fill out this form if you are interested in participating in this program. These are paid opportunities. Those that participated last year or expressed interest in the past will also be contacted in the next couple of weeks.

  • We have new members joining the Executive Board for EoCRG! Welcome, Reagan Kluver, Patrick Manansala, and Thang Nguyen. You can see the complete list of the executive board members below.

Racial Equity Advocates Applications now open!

For the full page of information, please visit the FIRE-REA webpage. The Minnesota Educator Academy’s member-driven program for Facing Inequities and Racism in Education aims to disrupt systemic racism and racial inequities in Minnesota’s education system.

The FIRE program will lead the state’s educators in a movement to live equitably and practice recognizing and responding to inequities and injustices. The FIRE program includes the Racial Equity Advocate cohort program and a series of professional development modules for educators to grow an anti-racism mindset and opportunities to engage with Education Minnesota’s members to interrupt and dismantle institutional racism.

The FIRE program is looking for individuals to join our fourth cohort of Racial Equity Advocates.

The REA cohort is a two-year program that works to create a network of educators dedicated to helping members grow in their own racial equity journeys and to expand their anti-racism mindset. At the end of the training, REAs will be empowered to work as members of the union to activate change at the building level and beyond.

Fill out this form before Wed 9/24

Member Highlights: Rundah Arafat

*Short biography:

Rundah Arafat is a Minnesota native from Maple Grove and frequently traveled between Egypt and the United States growing up. She moved to New Jersey and attended Rutgers University since it was "the most diverse college campus in the U.S." according to her Google search. She worked in New York after her graduation and then moved back to Minnesota to be close to family after she got married. After her original plans of going to law school derailed, Rundah worked as the director of sales for a company in Manhattan for 5 years before moving back to Minnesota. When she moved back to Minnesota, she felt like she wanted “something more”, so she decided to pursue her real passion: education. She attended Hamline University and got her initial teaching license, and then continued on to get her master’s degree in ESL. She has been ar RPS since 2014 and has worked as en EL Teacher in elementary, middle, and high school settings, and she is currently teaching at Johan Adams Middle School.

*The most important people are her family. She loves to take walks and play in the pool with her children: Noor (8), and Maya (4). Her kids also share her love of food, and they cook with Rundah daily.

*What was a memorable moment while working with students?

My most memorable moment was doing a lesson on slam poetry. (I love slam, and the students could see my excitement.) We spent the week learning about how to slam, and then Friday the students could volunteer to perform their pieces. Every student chose to perform! And after each performance, students cheered and gave standing ovations, even to students who never shared. It was hands down my favorite teacher moment.

*Any words of advice?

Don’t get hung up on only “school stuff”. Take the time to get to know each student. Don’t be afraid to get off task. Enjoy what you teach, or find a way to deliver it a way that you enjoy!

*In April 2019, the city of Rochester recognized April as National Arab American Heritage Month, and recognized the contributions of Arab Americans in our city. Rundah Arafat was one of the people recognized for her work.

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Next EoCRG General Meeting

Friday, Sep. 25th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Join our first virtual social of the school year!

Please join by opening Google Meets from your isd535.org account and enter the code EoCRGGeneralMeeting

If you have any issues, please email us and we will help you with the technology.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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Contact US

If you have any questions, please contact Will or Natalia.

Will Ruffin II: wiruffin@rochester.k12.mn.us

Natalia Benjamin: nabenjamin@rochester.k12.mn.us