Saint Paul, MN — Dr. Artika Tyner is an accomplished educator, civil rights attorney, law professor and award-winning children's book author who beat the odds as a child growing up surrounded by incarcerated family members. She immersed herself in books from an early age and became a first-generation college student. Now, she seeks to share the gift of reading with children of color who are growing up in conditions similar to those she experienced. She sees that Minnesota's educational system continues to experience some of the most significant racial disparities in the U.S. and that those disparities show up in the people she serves in the criminal justice system. She wants to employ a cross-sector, intergenerational approach to address the literacy crisis at a statewide level. To lead this change, she will take time to strengthen her leadership and communication skills and build a professional network in the education community. She also will gain organizing skills to raise awareness and mobilize others who share her passion for racial equity.