Meet the Equity Team
My name is Nuhu! As a Black, cis-heterosexual, male teacher I believe that teaching should be an emancipatory experience. I draw on Kinchloe’s (2008) notions of pedagogy as critical emancipation. Kinchloe speaks to critical emancipation as the thought process of people who attempt to take control over their own lives while simultaneously in solidarity with a justice oriented community. Teaching is a holistic process that requires the vulnerability of the teacher and the student. I take up Kinchloe because, as an educator, I must be honest in what I am attempting to achieve in my own life (ending low the achievement of Black males) while also being in coalition with communities who seek justice in their own ways.
Ryan Oto has worked in Brooklyn Center for the last four years as a social studies teacher and BARR Coordinator at the secondary. Currently in his thirteenth year as an educator, Ryan is passionate about racial justice within and beyond the classroom, something he views as a critical part of becoming an engaged citizen in the 21st century. Through his teaching and graduate work, Ryan also examines the intersection of theory and research in schools through youth participatory action research (YPAR) and teacher action research as vehicles to disrupt oppression in school communities. Ryan earned his B.A. in history from Carleton College and holds both a M.A. degree and Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota. In his free time, he enjoys reading science fiction, re-watching Ted Lasso, and learning to mountain bike.
Hi! My name is Asha Omar. This is my second year working as a equity teacher for BCE. I am so excited to do critical and generative work with all of you! Before moving to Minneapolis I taught 1st grade for three years in Wisconsin. I love having the opportunity to work with teachers and staff members to transform practices so students feel seen, heard, and valued in and out of the classroom.
I am also an artist. I use art as a form of resistance, self-expression, and self-love. I enjoy pulling from life experiences to challenge dominant narratives represented in art. Using my background as an artist, I am specifically interested in the ways arts-based methods can portray truths that have traditionally been marginalized and offer a platform for others who may not have the words to convey their experiences.
This is my 9th year at BCCS. My previous 8 years I worked as a social studies teacher at both the middle and high school level. I have fallen in love with Brooklyn Center as a community and have been grateful to learn from students, families and colleagues. My journey into this new role as an Equity Teacher is really an introspective one. Growing up in the midwest my education experience largely fell into the white status quo culture around me. I was taught as a young person that civil rights, racialization of students and oppressive practices in schools were things of the past and we could celebrate that they had been conquered. As I experienced new readings, talked with people in new cities I lived in, learned new names and stories from history of those fighting against injustice and joined in more dialogue - I was humbled to learn how much I needed to learn about being a reflective human and how my formal education was largely part of the broader system I was a part of. This journey inward laid the path for one of my beliefs about teaching and learning which has been affirmed in my time with students at BCCS. I hold a deep and hopeful conviction that we can all grow and that this growth often involves change that is hard and uncertain. I can certainly say that my own growth has not happened alone. I am grateful for the mentors, colleagues and especially students who have taught me about what it means to be a part of Brooklyn Center Schools. I look forward to being in collaboration with students, families and colleagues on this important, critical and reflective journey.