ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced Wednesday that a lifelong educator and current education department deputy commissioner will serve as the state's first Chief Equity Officer.
In the role, Dr. Stephanie Burrage will work with the governor and cabinet to develop the new Equity and Opportunity Office "to achieve equity and opportunity across the state," Walz's office said.
“Our mission is to make Minnesota the best state to raise a family for everyone. This role was created to serve communities across Minnesota and help eliminate disparities across race, geography, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status,” Gov. Walz said in a statement. “Dr. Burrage understands the importance of community and relationship building and will use her strengths and expertise to advance equity in communities across Minnesota.”
According to the governor's office, Dr. Burrage has taught in Michigan and Minnesota for more than three decades. She works with districts and companies as an education consultant, has been a "champion for equity, diversity and inclusion efforts" and strives to amplify the voices of those in her community.
“This work is critical and will help remove systemic inequities while increasing opportunities for all communities,” said Dr. Burrage. “I will help ensure that Minnesotans are both heard and represented in our government. I am pleased that Governor Tim Walz has appointed me to this essential role.”
In her role as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, Dr. Burrage oversees the divisions of Human Resources and Agency Services; Government Relations; and the new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center.
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