Central Lakes College’s Mary Sam, Dean of Students, Equity and Inclusion, was recently awarded the 2017 Ron McKinley All My Relations Award from the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership.
The award is given annually by the staff and board of the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) in recognition of a volunteer who has contributed to the MnEEP mission: “MnEEP uses a race equity lens to transform educational institutions, organizations and leaders to ensure that students of color and American Indian students achieve full academic and leadership success.”
“Mary is a strong advocate for racial justice in central Minnesota. We are proud to award Mary this distinguished award for service and commitment to education equity for her inspiring and impactful work over the years,” said Carlos Mariani, Executive Director and Jennifer Godinez, Associate Director, with the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership.
“Her service to community is deep and we look forward to seeing her lift up more innovative ideas for race equity in education statewide,” they said.
They pointed to Sam’s achievements:
- She was a key visionary for the MnEEP race equity network, Promise to Act advisory group and planning process in the Mille Lacs region. This work is now expanding across central Minnesota—engaging school districts, community groups, and youth in key dialogues on race equity and education.
- She has nearly 40 years of building programs and initiatives crafting policy and community organizing to create platforms around Indian Education and race relations. She developed the Onamia Indian education program model 15 years ago, encouraging key dialogue on race relations in rural communities.
- She served as an Onamia School Board member.