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School invites public to talk about racism

Bullying and racism have been a topic in the local news of late. 

In the following interview, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence speaks with Jen Kohan from the Minnesota Educators Academy about the state’s F.I.R.E. program and what is being done at School District 166 to combat racist bullying.

F.I.R.E. is the Minnesota Educator Academy's Anti-Racism Program, and the acronym stands for Facing Inequities and Racism in Education.

Below is an invitation sent out to the public from Superintendent Bill Crandall:

Last month ISD 166 invited concerned citizens to discuss racial and bullying matters during a gathering in the Jane Mianowski Conference Room. While everyone present was grateful for the opportunity to speak and share stories, it was the consensus of the group that this good work should continue.
In that spirit, Cook County Schools is inviting community members to participate in four evening workshops dedicated toward continuous community building. The Community Storytelling Series is Education Minnesota’s anti-racism program known as FIRE (Facing Inequities & Racism in Education), and it provides an interactive, sustainable framework for developing a growth mindset in racial equity for all members of a school community.
On December 8, Cook County Schools staff will receive training in Equity Literacy and Intercultural Competence. Later that evening, the entire community is welcomed to participate in the first community storytelling program: Social Geography. This event will use the concept of story to investigate the study of social phenomenon and its relationship to geographic spaces – how does geography and environment affect social systems, including beliefs and relationships?
The program will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria. on Friday, December 8.
On January 15, school staff will receive training on understanding and recognizing racial bias and privilege. That evening, the community is welcomed to take part in the second Community Storytelling program: Story Circles. Two more storytelling events are scheduled for the evening of January 22 and February 2, and all events are two hours long and run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
During each session, Education Minnesota facilitators will coach participants through a series of engagement activities in order to support individual and group development. It is the overall goal of FIRE and ISD 166 to help our community come together through the sharing of our own stories. This event is free and open to all.
For more information please visit or call 387-2271. You’re also welcomed to send questions to me, Dr. Bill Crandall, at