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The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota unites individuals, organizations and communities throughout the state concerned about the lack of racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity in Minnesota's teaching force. As a true coalition, not an organization, we unite more than 1,500 people from more than several dozen organizations and institutions across political parties, racial and ethnic groups, geographic regions, ages, and roles within education and the community.


​We believe in our experience and compelling research that proves racially and ethnically diverse teachers are important to the success and learning of ALL students, especially students of color and American Indian students. 


We focus our efforts on three main activities:
  • Raising awareness why the shortage of TOCAIT is a major problem for students, families, schools, communities, and the state including its economy
  • Advocating for state-level, systemic,
    non-partisan policy change and strategic investments as part of the
    Increase Teachers of Color Act

  • Creating affinity spaces and convening gatherings for TOCAIT and allies that are uncommon in Minnesota's predominantly white educational and institutional spaces. These affinity spaces are important for TOCAIT retention and recruitment.


We advocate for five key approaches (represented by the five interconnected bubbles) proven by research and experience that address the most significant barriers to entering and staying in the profession for teachers of color and American Indian teachers (TOCAIT).


The Coalition was created in November 2015 by seven teacher educators from public and private colleges and universities along with two urban school district administrators who are committed to quality in teacher preparation and concerned about barriers that especially impact persons of color who want to enter and stay in the teaching profession. 


While students of color and Native American students make up 35% (in 2020) of the K-12 population in MN, only 4% of more than 63,000 are teachers of color or American Indian teachers (TOCAIT). Increasingly, in many urban, suburban and rural schools students of color are the majority and the racial/ethnic diversity gap between students and teachers is much wider.  While preK-12 student diversity has increased approximately 1% each year over the past decade and will continue to increase, the percentage of TOCAIT has remained stagnant over the past two decades.

The state government has and is supporting some good efforts to address this shortage, but they are relatively few with relatively small investments. Systemic change is needed.  Minnesota's opportunity and achievement gaps are among the worst in the country, and we have not seriously addressed the severe and persistent shortage of TOCAIT. 

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