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 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

Read Post

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 July 20, 2020

What If Your Entire School System Was the Racist Monument That Should Come Down?

The angry protestors are coming for public statues of historic Americans as diverse as Confederate traitors like Robert E. Lee and slave-owning…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted July 13, 2020

White Progressives Have a Lot of Work to Do, and I’m Not Here to Help

When I ran for school board it was the former Minneapolis mayor who was the first elected official to endorse…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Mar. 18, 2020

Communities Need Bold and Decisive Leaders Right Now

Tough times reveal all you need to know about the soul of good people. This is coming into focus for…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Mar. 13, 2020

Just Because I’m a Full-Time Education Activist Doesn’t Mean I Know What to Do Now

When news reports of the coronavirus became too alarming to ignore a few of my brothers and sisters in Christ…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Mar. 13, 2020

A Letter From Brightbeam in Response to Coronavirus

Dear Friends and Fellow Activists, Our brightbeam team cares about your safety and ours.  Like you, we are closely watching…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Feb. 25, 2020

Presidential Candidates Do Not Think All Families Are Created Equal

I’m starting to notice a trend among the presidential candidates. I don’t think they’re vying to be a president who…

By Chris Stewart

Read Post

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Featured Posts

Posted Oct. 23, 2020

The Presidential Election Ain’t the Only Thing We Have to Worry About, We Must #VoteLocal

Alright, Black people—let’s push past Ice Cube’s meeting with Trump and 50 Cent’s declaration supporting his reelection. Yes we love hot tea and messiness from…

By Tanesha Peeples

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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 school boards, and then this article pops…

By Chris Stewart

Read Post

Posted Oct. 30, 2020

With Remote Learning, The Issues Go Deeper Than Lack of Internet

Right now—literally, as I’m sitting here typing—I’m watching my friend toggle between distance learning with her son and responding to work emails. It’s the most…

By Tanesha Peeples

Read Post

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