2021 Annual Report

"Nations reel and stagger on their way; they make hideous mistkaes; they commit frightful wrongs; they do great and beautiful things. And shall we not best guide humanity by telling the truth about all this, so far as the truth is ascertainable?" - W. E. B. Du Bois

Year in Review.

Despite the hardships of 2021, AMAZEworks continues to be a bridge to greater equity and belonging during these challenging times.

Our challenge of the past year and a half has been to be responsive to the changing landscape and needs of educators, schools, and organizations. Together, we are having brave conversations about addressing the structures and systems of racism and oppression that keep us divided, defensive, disconnected, and dehumanized. 

State of AMAZEworks

Using our Anti-Bias Education model and Conditions for Belonging framework, we are shifting our educational approach. We are transforming our discrete curriculums/programs and one-off workshops for individual educators and schools into a more comprehensive systems change approach for schools and districts that includes deeper, ongoing professional development, program implementation support, and coaching/consultation around being an Anti-Bias Educator/Leader. 

We have also significantly expanded our work with nonprofits, for-profit businesses, and community and government agencies both within Minnesota and across the US as more organizations grapple with what it means to engage with an increasingly diverse and global world. These organizations and institutions are recognizing the need to examine and reimagine policies, procedures, practices, processes, and patterns that are rooted in systems of dominance and oppression, and AMAZEworks supports them on this journey through training, consulting, and coaching.

As an organization of educators, we invite the adults we work with, whether they work with children or other adults, into a learning community with a mindset of transparency, humility, vulnerability, self-reflection, and growth. We help them articulate their personal and professional WHY for equity and belonging and give them anti-bias tools and resources to stay motivated and engaged in the hard work of individual, interpersonal, structural, and systemic change. 

We are proud of all that we accomplished last year. We experienced growth, formed and nourished relationships, and shared our learning. We want to name and celebrate our work and impact this year.

(We also know that in the midst of our growth, relationship building, and learning, we made mistakes. We realize that we did not always center belonging. We know we sometimes acted on our own biases in ways that caused harm. We missed deadlines, left emails unanswered, made comments that had an impact different from our intention. We also know that part of doing this work is being brave enough to face those mistakes and accept imperfection while cultivating resilience. That being said, we want to name and celebrate our work and impact this year.)


  • Persona Dolls: We released two new Persona Dolls, Amara and Daniel, and an updated Persona Doll curriculum guide with stories for all 12 dolls. In the past year, the Persona Doll program has greatly expanded into more schools and early childhood centers in Minnesota, California, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, Oklahoma, and Ontario, CA. Learn more about our Persona Dolls in this podcast with The Reflective Teacher!

                                                   Persona Doll, Amara     Persona Doll, Daniel

  • Middle School: This fall, we released our revamped, online, modular Middle School Curriculum, which we have been refining and piloting since 2017. It focuses on various Anti-Bias Education topics, including anti-bias education foundations, conceptual building blocks, and race/racism, with plans to expand with lessons on gender identity, gender roles, sexual orientation, immigration, ability, and religious diversity. 
  • Professional Development: We continue to develop our Anti-Bias Education workshops and trainings to better meet the needs of teachers as districts and schools focus more explicitly on addressing educational equity issues. 

                                         "Our team gained a partner who could help us speak to our leadership with confidence and in ways we wouldn't be able to otherwise." - Office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion at National Park Service      "I liked talking with colleagues about how to handle different conversations bravely, with grace, while holding the hearts of our students and parents." - Elementary School Teacher

AMAZEworks facilitators standing in a row and smiling
AMAZEworks facilitators for a professional development series with local educators
  • Resource Hub: Our resources continued to expand. We now have free lessons on Native American/Indigenous, Asian American, and Latino/a/x identities, a series of webinars to support caregivers, resources for supporting children during the Derek Chauvin trial (and other racially charged events), podcast episodes in collaboration with “Lean Into You” and “The Reflective Teacher,” and more available on our Resource Hub to make anti-bias education accessible to all. 
  • Anniversary: We celebrated our 25th year of championing equity and belonging as AMAZEworks with a small gathering of founding members of our team. We reflected on the beginning of AMAZEworks and shared stories of our community impact, reconnecting with our purpose behind this work. Stay tuned for an in-person celebration of 25+1 years in 2022! 
AMAZEworks founders and current executive director standing next to each other smiling, one holding a cake with candles that read "25"
25th anniversary gathering, featuring AMAZEworks founders and current executive director

AMAZEworks 2021 Financial Highlights

AMAZEworks' Impact and Growth 2019-2021 2021 Revenue Sources 2021 Expenditures

Thank you to our Donors and Funders for helping us champion equity and belonging for all with your generous support:


  • Tina Alvir-Romero
  • Faye Anderson
  • Yelena Bailey
  • Amanda Bartschenfeld
  • Sarah & Mick Bauer
  • Lauren Blacik
  • Liam Brannen
  • Jenni Bratulich
  • Pam Bryden
  • Monica Bryand
  • Estuardo Cabrera
  • Carrie Carroll
  • Allison Christensen
  • Rose Chu
  • Scott Coenen
  • Jane Connell
  • Kevin Corbid
  • Janet Dahlem
  • Lynn Daniels
  • Brooke & Mark Darst Rice
  • Jeff DeGree
  • Paula DeMars
  • Mary Dooley
  • Brianna Drugg
  • Susan Fitze
  • Charles Fitze
  • Jo Friedman
  • Geoff Gayle
  • Dennis Goetz
  • Julie Guidry
  • Kaitlin Hallett-Pugh
  • Julie Hawker
  • Jill Heath
  • Lori Hendrickx
  • Molly Henningsgard
  • Ronald Herrington
  • Anna Hoagland
  • Ken & Beck Hoagland
  • Wade Hoffman
  • Jenny Jendro
  • Debra Jendro
  • Laura Jepson
  • Carly Kinzler
  • Ryan Kroening
  • Leah Kuypers
  • Deanna Lackaff
  • Amy Lange
  • Karen Larsen
  • Deb Lavoie
  • Beverly Long
  • Kim Lund***
  • Kathleen Mathews
  • Sarah McCarty
  • Lisa McLean
  • Tammy Monistere
  • Alison Moore
  • Pete Moore
  • Elizabeth Morrissette
  • Beth Morrissette
  • Henry Moyers*
  • Vikas Narula
  • Heidi Norvold
  • Todd Olson
  • Steve & Vicki Palmquist
  • Amy Peisart
  • Terese Pritchet**
  • Justine Roe
  • Stephen & Kris Rose
  • Gbemisola Saunders
  • Linda Sen
  • Nancy Sen
  • Shilad Sen
  • Alison Sharpe-Havill
  • Rebecca Slaby
  • Emily Stacken
  • Elaine Steinbach
  • Connie Tanner
  • Beth Theobald
  • Susan Tomczak
  • René Tripeny
  • Sarah Tripple
  • Jennifer Wagenius
  • Laura Wake Wiesner
  • Anna Waugh
  • Barbra Wiener**
  • Anonymous (4)

Grants and Foundations

  • Bob and Diane Coderre Family Foundation*
  • Courageous Possibilities Fund of Headwaters Foundation**
  • Daniel and Alissa Abelson Charitable Fund*
  • John Larsen Foundation**
  • Mick and Sarah Bauer Fund
  • Otto Bremer Foundation**
  • Paypal Giving Fund


  • AmazonSmile
  • Elfin Magic
  • Microsoft
  • The Blackbaud Giving Fund

*Championed equity and belonging with $1,000 or more
**Championed equity and belonging with $5,000 or more
***Championed equity and belonging with $100,000 or more

The AMAZEworks Board of Directors

  • Alissa Abelson, Board Chair, 2021
  • Tina Alvir-Romero
  • Yelena Bailey
  • Carrie Carroll, Board Secretary, 2021
  • Jenny Jendro
  • Ryan Kroening
  • Shilad Sen
  • Emily Stacken

We’d also like to thank the team of passionate experts leading and partnering with us to make us better and keep us learning:

  • Egohsa Awaah
  • DeMonte’ Baker
  • Nicole Byrnes
  • Riva Cohen
  • Hope Davis
  • Nicole Devereaux
  • Daniella Embu
  • Irene Thompson
  • Regina Goldner
  • Hanna Haileyesus
  • Marcee Harris
  • Jenny Kordosky
  • Debbie Laurin
  • Eliana Lawrence
  • Brita Lawrence
  • Kristin Lynham
  • Jess Lyons
  • Rob Mallo
  • Lori McClellan
  • Kelly McKown
  • Stephen Michael
  • Sidra Michael
  • Nancy Michael
  • Anna Noble
  • Sherine Onukwuwe
  • Steve Palmquist
  • Vicki Palmquist
  • Maya Park
  • Malachi Raymond
  • Pia Richardson
  • Irak Saenz Rodriguez
  • Regi Santiago
  • Carlyn Shanley
  • Tina Van Erp
  • Pa Der Vang
  • Kevin Ward
  • Richard Webb
  • Candace Whittacker
  • Genesia Williams of Genesia Doing Things
  • Susan Woodbury
  • The Team at Neka Creative

Looking Ahead to 2022

We know we have more work to do. In 2022, we are revisiting our organizational values, expanding our anti-bias resources, and prioritizing the needs of educators. We are working on channeling self compassion, setting boundaries, increasing our capacity as individuals and as an organization, and more. 

We are proud of the impact AMAZEworks has made on our local community and across the nation, and we look forward to continuing this work with all of your support. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey to champion equity and belonging in our communities. We are so grateful.

Belong with us

Staying engaged in this hard work of creating equity and belonging for all requires us to channel individual and collective resilience. As we focus on the needs of educators this year, we recognize that they need additional support to feel valued and empowered in this work. We invite you to stand with us in our commitments to build resilience and support educators during these challenging times. Help us bring belonging to life. 

5 Commitments to Building Resilience: These habits help enforce the practice of showing up for ourselves so that we can also show up for others. Join us as we work to bring our best selves into 2022. 

  1. Center health and wellness: Tend to your own basic needs (security, belonging, power/success, freedom, fun) and support your community as they do the same. We cannot show up meaningfully for others if we do not first care for ourselves. 

  2. Listen: Listen to your body. What does it need from you? Listen to those around you. What support do they need? Learn from and seek input from others. Whose voices do you need to listen to, center, and amplify?

  3. Hold compassion: Self compassion is a practice of emotional resilience and is a starting point for compassion for others. Commitment to compassion for self and others  is a commitment to change. Compassion lays the groundwork for deeper transformation at individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels.

  4. Practice joy: We can’t do the hard work of dismantling systems of oppression and creating more equity and belonging for all without also allowing for joy, pleasure, fun, and love. Where can you find daily pockets of joy to feed and sustain you? How can you set yourself up for experiencing these moments? 

  5. Be brave: Create a community of practice committed to brave space for intentional conversations about identity, difference, and bias with empathy and understanding. Being brave is not always comfortable. Lean into discomfort so you enter into deeper learning, growth, and authentic relationships with yourself, others, and your community. 

5 Commitments in Support of Educators: AMAZEworks stands in solidarity with educators everywhere, especially during this continually challenging time. Join us as we imagine a future where educators are valued and empowered.

  1. Show gratitude to all educators everywhere, including support staff and across all levels, early childhood through university. Send a thank you note or a gift card. Let educators know both publicly and privately that you are grateful for their work, time, energy, passion, and commitment to making a difference through teaching and education. 

  2. Show educators that they are seen, heard, and valued. Empower educators to take up space. In what ways are educators feeling powerless? How can you empower them to continue to share their needs and experiences? 

  3. Amplify the voices of educators and validate their experiences. How can you respond when they raise their voices? Listen to and advocate for educators in your community. What support are they asking for? How can you show up and communicate their needs and experiences with others?

  4. Honor the expertise of educators, their knowledge, experience, and background. Recognize and defend the professionalism of educators as experts in the field of education and masters of the craft of teaching. 

  5. Donate to AMAZEworks so that we can continue to provide meaningful Anti-Bias Education resources and support through curriculum and professional development. Help us uplift educators by donating to our mission. 

Thank you! We could not do this without you. 

en English
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