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 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 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 Apr. 19, 2021

We Can’t Protect Our Students From Racism, But We Can Prepare Them to Combat and Reject It

On January 6, when an angry mob stormed the Capitol, I was in the middle of teaching my 7th grade English language arts students about…

By Travon Jefferson

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Posted Apr. 16, 2021

The Pandemic Is Exactly Why We Need Standardized Testing

In the next few weeks, nearly all school districts in the U.S. will offer at least some in-person instruction. The worst of the pandemic school…

By Evan Stone

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Posted Apr. 13, 2021

Meet Two Teachers Learning to Center Their Students’ Identities Without Losing Sight of Their Own

Lindsay Singer and Ashley McCall are both third grade teachers at Cesar Chavez Multicultural Academic Center in Chicago. Lindsay teaches mathematics and inquiry. And Ashley…

By Ikhlas Saleem

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