Joyner Emerick (any pronouns) is a Minneapolis Public Schools graduate, a lifelong Minneapolis resident, and a parent of an MPS student with complex disabilities. Joyner’s educational advocacy is rooted in their experience navigating Special Education—a system meant to ensure that every child has equal access to education but which fails to address systemic barriers and gaps in opportunity for many students. Joyner uses these personal experiences as a framework to stand up for all underserved kids in our district. As a disabled person, Joyner brings needed lived experience subject matter expertise in the areas of disability justice and equity in MPS.
Joyner believes fiercely that all students are engaged, motivated and skilled learners, and that it is the job of educational leadership to remove barriers. Joyner is passionate about frameworks and practices that honor all student strengths, needs, and identities as valuable and enriching characteristics of our learning communities. Joyner is committed to elevating student voice and developing our future leaders by giving our children opportunities to successfully lead today.
“The first step to building power in a community is building trust. Nobody should trust you when the first words out of your mouth layer on more shame and criticism. Nobody should trust you if you operate like you're only here for the ‘good ones.’ Nobody should trust you if you operate like you fundamentally don't need them in the work of transformation.” —Aaron Scott