Racial Justice STEAM Collective Youth Summit

Join us on March 16 and March 30 for the first Racial Justice STEAM Collective (RJSC) Youth Summit at the Science Museum of Minnesota! 

This youth-focused program centers on empowering BIPOC youth ages 15-18. It will uplift underrepresented narratives and explore the experiences of STEM professionals through the lens of race and culture. 

About the summit

Over the course of two Saturdays, participants will explore the intersections between race and health, engineering, environmental justice, and technology. Each event will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with spots available for 30 youth per day. 

March 16: Explore the intersections of race and engineering with partners from the Toaster Innovation Hub at the University of Minnesota. Then we’ll dig into race and environmental justice with social justice advocate and teaching artist Eshay Brantley. 

March 30: Take a look at the intersections of race and data with Shayna Karuman and Marika Pfefferkorn, supported with a zine from Sophie Wang, a co-founder of Free Radicals and an equity-centered professional development educator. Then we’ll check out the intersection of race and healthcare with a variety of BIPOC healthcare professionals and circle keepers.

The experience is limited to 30 youth per day, so be sure to sign up early.

Breakfast and lunch provided by the RJSC, as well as a $100 gift card for youth participants and some giveaways and swag!

Need transportation assistance? Have another question or request? Contact David Valentine, Museum Access & Equity Program Manager


History of the Racial Justice STEAM Collective

The relationships and projects of the Racial Justice STEAM Collective (RJSC) grew from the Science Museum of Minnesota’s longstanding commitment to working through the lens of race. Several of the future RJSC members served as consultants and advisors in the development of the RACE: Are We So Different exhibition. These networks continued to expand as we developed smaller footprint RACE models in partnership with organizations in the Twin Cities, Fargo-Moorhead, Rochester, and Worthington. 

By exploring deep relationships and trust-building through consistent engagement, these relationships evolved into what became the RJSC. Through funding from the National Science Foundation, this group has created youth leadership development programs, podcasts, and digital board games. 

Working collaboratively to develop youth-focused racial justice workshops that travel throughout the Great Lakes region, RJSC is repositioning museums as learners, supporters, and facilitators — rather than the sole experts, teachers, and holders of knowledge — while community members are repositioned as the primary decision-makers and deliverers of empowerment and expertise.

Meet the Racial Justice STEAM Collective members

RJSC’s long-term goals are to utilize our cross-regional connections to bring youth-focused racial justice summits to every community that our group members represent, while developing a framework or toolkit that demonstrates our deep model of power-sharing. 

Fargo-Moorhead 

  • Jered Pigeon - Director of Diversity/Inclusion at Minnesota State University Moorhead; business owner

  • Frederick Edwards Jr. - Co-founder of Umoja writing workshops, youth development professional, motivational speaker, community educator, and spoken word artist from North Minneapolis

  • Shayna Karuman - Community organizer, artist, co-founder of Fargo’s Asian Night Market

Twin Cities

  • Marika Pfefferkorn - Co-founder and Solutions and Sustainability Officer at Twin Cities Innovation Alliance

  • Nathasha Chandrasekharan - Program/research administrator at University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics, STEAM educator, youth development professional

  • Charly Vang, MPH - Data analyst, Minnesota Department of Health 

Rochester