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 Feb. 11, 2020

Real Reformers Keep Pushing for Better Outcomes Even When There Are No Easy Answers

A few nights ago the CEO for Baltimore Public Schools joined my colleagues on the 8 Black Hands podcast to…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Jan. 28, 2020

We Shined a Light on What Many Refuse to See: World-Class Cities With Third-World Educational Results

You mad, bro? That seems like the most appropriate question to ask after my team released “The Secret Shame of…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Jan. 19, 2020

Dr. King Would Have Shined a Light on the Shame of ‘Progressive’ Cities. So Should We.

On the day that the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was taken in 1968, he had become increasingly…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Jan. 7, 2020

This Is Where I Convince You to Become a Mentor for a Young Person in Your Community

Toward the end of last year, my colleagues were writing wrap-ups to the decade and providing strong analysis of what…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Dec. 20, 2019

There Is Nothing We Can’t Fix If We Play to Win on Behalf of Children

WHAT WE GOT WRONG: When I returned to Education Post in May, my charge was to help us clarify our vision and set us in a new direction. I thought a lot about what would be the cardinal question to help us stay focused on what matters most…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Dec. 3, 2019

Who’s on Board for a Child-Saving School Support Movement?

Black Friday has passed, and Cyber Monday has limped away from us. I can’t judge the bargain hunting mass consumerism,…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 26, 2019

The System Is Winning. For Now.

It must have been mortifying for Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to have a loud group of Black parents—mostly mothers…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 19, 2019

Our Children Need Better Politicians

Can we all agree that the basic care and development of America’s children—yes, every single one of them—is a cardinal…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 11, 2019

While We Get Lost in the Wrong Arguments, Too Many of Our Kids Aren’t Ready for the Future

As a Generation Xer, I was sold the dream in the 1990s that one day we would all telecommute to…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Nov. 5, 2019

Thank God for Parents Who Refuse to Be Gaslighted by the Failing Education System

Last week I attended a community town hall in Nashville organized by my friend Vesia Hawkins, a relentless and faithful…

By Chris Stewart

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OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted Feb. 11, 2020

Real Reformers Keep Pushing for Better Outcomes Even When There Are No Easy Answers

A few nights ago the CEO for Baltimore Public Schools joined my colleagues on the 8 Black Hands podcast to discuss her efforts to improve…

By Chris Stewart

Read Post

Posted Feb. 13, 2020

My Daughter Has Autism and She Isn’t Just Learning Black History, She’s Ready to Teach It

Almost everyone in my family is a quick talker and quick answer-er. In fact, we hardly ever have a family discussion where people can complete…

By ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson

Read Post

Posted Feb. 10, 2020

When Cops Outweigh Counselors, Schools Set Students Up to Fail

Black Lives Matter. This statement has sparked inspiration, fear and anger across this nation, but this has always been the message that Black people in…

By Kelisa Wing

Read Post

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