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ENEWS: SEAT Program Success, Sprouting Solar, Economic Development Chapter

Date Published: 08/15/2019

Author: Sarah Leistico

SEAT Program Success

This past legislative session Growth & Justice endorsed the Increase Teachers of Color Act – which invests significant resources into attracting, developing, and retaining teachers of color in Minnesota. Recently, MinnPost published an article that clearly shows the importance of these efforts across our state. In an article entitled, Pipeline to develop ethnic teachers has scholarships, an affinity group, evening hours — and open seatsConcordia University’s Southeast Asian Teacher (SEAT) Program is highlighted as a successful resource that is available to only teachers of color and accommodates schedules, cultural events, and financial investments that sometimes may be a barrier in traditional teacher licensure programs.

MinnPost reports that “the program has tracked 172 graduates since it began — and over 90 percent of graduates are either currently teaching or completing their licensure requirements.” In addition, students who participated in the SEAT summer camp said, “I like learning things around my culture” and “we are feeling more confident.”

Minnesota and Solar Make Sense

Solar gardens are sprouting up all over Minnesota, and for good reason. According to the most recent MPR article “Solar flare: Minnesota leads nation in solar mini-gardens” solar power in Minnesota tends to be a decentralized industry, with small scale operations leading to larger economic development impacts in community investment, entrepreneurship, and clean energy. One way Minnesota stands out from the rest (besides being the nation’s leader in solar gardens), is that our gardens are smaller than other states and mostly run by local communities or organizations, not larger entities such as billion-dollar nuclear and coal plants. While solar energy has a larger initial investment than alternatives, it is clear that the return-on-investment continues to outpace the competition.

Economic Development Chapter Released

In case you missed it, the Minnesota Equity Blueprint's second chapter - Economic Development - is available online! The second installment of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint views some of our state's most pressing challenges and opportunities through a lens of growth and its connections to many different issues across rural, urban, and everywhere in between. This publication addresses several topics such as the agricultural and farming sectors, entrepreneurs of color, and childcare challenges. The Blueprint is living and we welcome additional input, feedback, and development throughout 2019. 


Quote: “Just seeing kids come to learn about their history and culture, and seeing their faces light up when they learn something new — and sharing that information with their families — that’s why I come back year after year.” SEAT Alumna Panyia Ly quoted in MinnPost’s “Pipeline to develop ethnic teachers has scholarships, an affinity group, evening hours — and open seats” on her experience as a Hmong literacy teacher at the program’s summer camp.

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