District 65 Welcomes New Board Member
At the August 19, 2019 Regular Board Meeting, the District 65 School Board welcomed Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan as its newest member. Ms. Lindsay-Ryan will fill the vacancy left by Lindsay Cohen who resigned her position, effective July 18, 2019.
The School Board invited interested community members to apply for the opening and applicant interviews were held on August 8. Over 30 applications were submitted for the position. “The Board is thrilled to welcome Biz to join us in our work of serving the District 65 community. In a field of many qualified candidates, Biz stood out for her experience in issues of racial equity and her track record as a collaborator and a change agent, including her extensive diversity and inclusion and school climate work in our own community,” said Suni Kartha, Board President. “The 36 applications we received for this open position is a record since I have been on the board. District 65 is lucky to have so many engaged stakeholders willing to lend their time and talents to the betterment of our school district.”
Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan is a diversity and inclusion professor, trainer and consultant with three children attending Evanston D65 schools. Biz holds an MA from DePaul University in Human Services and Counseling and a BA from DePauw University. She teaches classes on Civic Engagement, Diversity, Gender and Agents of Change at DePaul University's School for New Learning. She also served for many years as a Director of Programs at the Women's Center at Northwestern University. Biz has worked with numerous educational institutions and companies as a consultant building capacity for equity, diversity and inclusion within their culture by providing facilitation, curriculum development, policy evaluation, assessment, and strategic planning with administrators, managers, employees, teachers, students and parents. She has also engaged in extensive work with schools and school districts on school climate and helping schools create a positive and sustained environment where all constituents feel safe, welcomed, respected and valued to reach their fullest potential. Toward this end, Biz provided a Tedx in 2017 called “Why we need to talk to our children about race and difference.” Biz has engaged in this work in a multitude of organizations including government entities, corporations, non-profits and educational institutions at every level from preschool through university.
“I believe in the potential of Evanston and yet see where we are falling short as a community. As a former consultant with D65, I have been able to work with so many incredible educators that bring their passion, skill, and dedication to meet the needs of our community,” said Ms. Lindsay-Ryan. “I believe our school district has serious challenges on the path to truly providing an equitable experience for all of our students and we are at a critical moment in our efforts toward equity. I want to be a part of transforming our schools into a place where all students are valued, welcomed, included, respected and equally successful and there is not racial predictability in their present or their future.”
Ms. Lindsay-Ryan’s term will run through the April 2021 election.