Episode # 14

The Power of Community in the Face of Racism

When it comes to disrupting racism in our schools, we need to stand up.  Derek Francis, manager of counseling services in Minneapolis Public Schools, speaks with us about how best to support students of color in the face of racism and social isolation. He breaks down the differences between the rural and urban experience for BIPOC students, gets real about the effects of racism on young people, and talks about the power of celebration to raise the confidence and self-esteem of BIPOC communities. Life After Now is brought to you by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.


Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Supporting BIPOC students through challenging times
  • Differences in the urban and rural college experiences
  • The importance of allyship and the role allies can and should play

Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services, Minneapolis Public Schools

Episode Transcript


Derek serves as the Manager of Counseling Services for Minneapolis Public Schools and Professional Development Specialist for Hatching Results. He specializes in helping students and staff build trusting cross-culture relationships and has presented at state and national conferences around the country. 

Following the murder of George Floyd, Derek led a virtual professional development attended by over 30,000 titled, “Proactive School Counseling After a Major Racial Incident.”  

Some of Derek’s published work includes contributions to Contemporary Case Studies in School Counseling, published blog “This Is Not A Fire Drill – Supporting students after George Floyd” and July/August publication articles for American School Counselors Association and American School Board Journal. Derek’s belief is that school counselors are key for bridging our countries racial divide.  

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