Chris Stewart

Blogger

CEO, brightbeam

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Chris Stewart is the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. In the past, Stewart has served as the director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education where he was radicalized by witnessing the many systemic inequities that hold our children back.

In 2007 Chris was elected to the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education. In that role, he helped establish the Office of New Schools, an area of the Minneapolis Public Schools to implement school reform strategies. At the same time he created the Equity and Achievement Committee, authored a board-level “Covenant with the African American Community,” and advocated safe, orderly, and rigorous schools that prepare students for the real world.

In 2011, Chris organized community members for two campaigns in Minnesota: Action For Equity, a grassroots effort to spur innovation in family and education policy at the state level, and the Contract for Student Achievement, a coalition of community organizations working to achieve greater flexibility for underperforming schools through changes to Minneapolis’ teachers’ contract. Since 2009 Chris has been president and principal with Yielding Assets, LLC, a grassroots consultancy helping government, nonprofit, and foundation clients create self-sustaining, social good projects.

Chris serves as chair of the board of SFER’s Action Network and also serves on the board of Ed Navigators.

Chris blogs and tweets under the name Citizen Stewart. He is based in the Minneapolis area.

In August 2017, Chris came together with more than 40 other African-American parents, students and teachers to talk about the Black experience in America’s public schools. These conversations were released as a video series in Getting Real About Education: A Conversation With Black Parents, Teachers and Students.

RECENT POSTS

Posted May 25, 2021

Education Needs a Bigger Tent, Not a Bigot Tent

In the past several years, right-leaning education reformers have been contemptuous of—and frustrated by—progressives who brought a justice orientation into…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted May 4, 2021

Yes, America Is Racist. No, You Shouldn’t Teach My Kids if You Disagree.

Like several people in my private chats, I reacted to the deceptively simple question asked in a new piece by…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Jan. 15, 2021

I Don’t Know How to Fix the Race Problem in America, But I’m Sure Education Won’t Hurt

If Robert Frost was correct in saying “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Jan. 5, 2021

We Need Dr. Cardona to Heal the Divide in Education

Imagine an America where every child is valued at the level their creator intended.  Now, let’s hope together that president-elect…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 17, 2020

Let’s Be Honest About School Choice

School choice strawmen are a formidable army that thinking people have yet to defeat. Nevertheless, we must keep trying. As…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 12, 2020

Mr. Biden, Will You Stand Up for Every Child, or Just Be Another Politician?

Dear Mr. President-elect Biden,  You have given us all a welcomed message: I pledge to be a president who does not…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Oct. 30, 2020

School Boards Have Too Much Power They Aren’t Using to Fix Education

Considered me triggered. Again. This past Sunday my 8 Black Hands crew did a show on the missing importance of…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Oct. 26, 2020

Rev. Sharpton: Education Problems Are a ‘Five-Alarm’ Fire

Now would be a good time to listen to Rev. Al Sharpton. You didn’t see that coming. Me, of all…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Oct. 12, 2020

Remote Learning Isn’t Great. Whining Is Worse.

My kids are upstairs pretending to learn. My wife and I know they aren’t engaged. Their teachers range from earnest…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Oct. 2, 2020

I’m Not Going to Tell You Who to Vote For, But I Will Tell You How to Decide

In a time when concerns about public health are stealing precious learning time from America’s children, it’s sad that this…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted June 17, 2021

We Celebrate Juneteenth Whether It’s a Federal Holiday or Not, Now Give Us Something Tangible

This making Juneteenth a federal holiday is some gaslighting shit if I’ve ever seen it. And I can feel some of y’all reading this and…

By Tanesha Peeples

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Posted June 17, 2021

Juneteenth Should Serve As a Reminder That Anti-Blackness Is Still Alive in Our Schools

As a Black man, I want to start by saying that it’s refreshing to see that Juneteenth is now a federal holiday!  For my people,…

By Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

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Posted June 17, 2021

This Black Father Is Making a Difference for Students With Special Needs at School and at Home

There is a unique bond between fathers and sons, especially when they each must navigate an educational system where they are both equally and extremely underrepresented.…

By Danielle A. Stewart

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