MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — In its continuing efforts to bridge the equity gaps that exist nationally throughout our schools, organizations, and communities, Saint Mary’s University has created the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement (CCRE). The center — facilitated by Saint Mary’s education professionals and partners — provides data-based, customized professional development, youth-focused equity leadership, and a variety of other consulting services.

Saint Mary’s formalization of the CCRE honors work already in progress with multiple beneficial partnerships and collaborations, including: the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul, DeLaSalle High School, Prodeo Academy, The Sanneh Foundation, Teach for America, and more. As there are many ways that culturally responsive engagement can benefit organizations and communities outside of the education realm, the CCRE is beginning to expand its service to organizations in other sectors as well. Applications to health care, business, religious, and other sectors are possible.

Fittingly, the CCRE was announced Feb. 15, at Saint Mary’s annual Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit, held at its Twin Cities Campus. This year’s Missing Voices theme, “We Are All Related (Mitakuye Oyasin),” emphasized Native, immigrant, and refugee voices.

Saint Mary’s facilitators understand the needs of schools, particularly the achievement and opportunity gaps, and offer approaches and strategies for culturally responsive practices. The center utilizes data-driven, research-based learning strategies to provide a holistic approach to professional development. Future-focused action planning will lead individuals and teams to make powerful, positive change together.

A few of CCRE’s unique services include:


  • Curriculum development, climate analysis, and equity audits
  • Policy review
  • Diversity and inclusion plans
  • Facilitated dialogue

Professional development

  • Workshops and retreats
  • Professional book studies
  • Equity team development

Intercultural tools

  • Intercultural Development Inventory and Intercultural Development Plan
  • Intercultural Conflict Styles Inventory

Conferences and events

  • Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit
  • Disability Studies in Education Conference
  • Group action retreats
  • Film screenings
  • Speaker series

Youth-focused initiatives

  • Youth Equity Solutions (YES!) youth leadership teams
  • Youth Action Retreats and leadership development

For more information, visit smumn.edu/CCRE or contact the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement at CCRE@SMUMN.EDU or 612-238-4553.