Community Allies

Too often in Minnesota, education policy moves through the halls of the Capitol without meaningful input from the students and families most impacted by key decisions. At EdAllies, we seek to change that. Our Community Allies program provides advocacy training specific to education policy, giving community members the knowledge and tools they need to become effective advocates for the issues that matter to them.

Our team provides workshops and trainings on a range of topics, including:

  • Education Advocacy 101: A beginner’s guide to advocacy, where we explore how to move from identifying a problem to advancing a solution, covering the key ingredients and steps to consider to be an effective advocate for the issues you’re most passionate about.
  • The Minnesota Education Policy Landscape: The workshop provides a basic primer on the key issues, challenges, and decision-making structures that influence preK-12 education in Minnesota. We’ll explore the levers for advancing more student-centered policy in a complex ecosystem and some of the top issues being debated by policymakers. This workshop helps participants build a basic grounding in local education policy.
  • Researching for a Cause: You know the problem you want to address, but how do you move from a concern to a solution with momentum? Exploring the history of an issue, key data and trends, and research focused on impactful solutions is one piece of the puzzle. In this training, we discuss key steps to effective policy research and how best to use them effectively to move your issue forward.
  • And more! We can provide workshops on specific issues and other advocacy topics such as elevating your message, community organizing, and campaign strategizing. Or, if you want to dive in deeper on a specific issue facing Minnesota’s students, topics we can cover include:
    • Minnesota’s approach to teacher diversity, recruitment, and pathways to licensure;
    • Student discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline;
    • Academic supports, from early literacy to college and career readiness;
    • The importance of culturally affirming schools and curriculum;
    • And more!

These workshops can be delivered as a standalone or as part of a series. We work with community partners, advocacy organizations, and stakeholders to find the right content to meet the needs and goals of each group. In the end, participants will walk away with:

  • Education policy background—from a high-level look at the biggest issues in preK-12 education to closer looks at specific issues such as school discipline or literacy
  • A deeper understanding of the policy process and how decisions are made
  • Knowledge of when and how to advocate to have the greatest impact
  • Next steps to get more involved

EdAllies also has experience helping students harness the power of their voice and get involved in the political process. Through Community Allies in the Schools, we bring these workshops directly to students in class or after-school settings to build the knowledge and tools they need to become effective advocates for the issues that matter to them. They gain professional skills while developing their voice as an advocate and leader, grow their knowledge of Minnesota policymaking, and tackle education issues they care about being debated at the Capitol, right now.

Participants can stay involved in education advocacy by connecting to our other programs, such as our EdVoices storytelling program, our issue-specific coalitions, and real-time activities at the Capitol.

Interested in hosting an education policy training for your class, community group, after school program, or staff? We are eager to talk more and schedule a time! Contact Margaret Sullivan, Programs & Outreach Manager, at