The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) exists to permanently close the achievement gap and end generational poverty in North Minneapolis. Together with our partner organizations, we are walking side by side with low-income families as they put their children on a path to college.

NAZ has a game-changing approach that is closing the achievement gap. NAZ’s wraparound framework effectively supports low-income children of color so that they will graduate from high school prepared for college.

Addressing Detrimental Impacts on Students in a Post-COVID World

The consequences of the pandemic on students’ health and learning are profound and not yet fully understood. NAZ’s Director of Evaluation, Amy Susman-Stillman penned an Op-Ed and asks educators, parents and policymakers to make changes in the educational system that will benefit all students, and particularly low-income scholars and students of color.

Read the piece here: 


Sondra Samuels Calls for Racial Justice on CNN

“Our children are the ones who are suffering the most…they are dealing with trauma…they are looking to the adults to protect them. And it’s something we’ve all failed to do.”

Watch this plea for racial justice for America’s children from Sondra Samuels as she speaks with Poppy Harlow of CNN.



Community leaders react as we wait for the Chauvin verdict

MPR | April 20, 2021

It’s a tense week in Minnesota.
Protests are ongoing after the killing of Daunte Wright. Some journalists covering those protests have been brutalized by police. And National Guard troops patrol the streets in Minneapolis as we wait for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

For some Minnesotans, the last year has been disorienting. Our state is making headlines as a great place to live — unless you’re Black. For others, the trauma of police violence triggers a fresh wave of grief.

Tuesday morning, MPR News host Kerri Miller invited two wise guests to discuss and opened the phone lines to hear from the community about how we are reacting to this moment, and how we might grieve, hope and heal together.

Read more…


Education constitutional amendment is our best shot at racial equity

Minnesota Reformer | April 20, 2021
by Sondra Samuels

The picture of Chauvin, a white man, on top of George Floyd, a Black man, is an apt metaphor for racial disparities in Minnesota. The disproportionate killing of Black men notwithstanding, these disparities prevail in wealth, health, income, homeownership, incarceration, longevity, and education.

Read more…


“Change Has to Come From a Place”: Inside the Northside Achievement Zone

Not long after she moved to north Minneapolis more than 20 years ago, Sondra Samuels began working alongside families to erase generational poverty and close the opportunity gap between Black and white Minnesotans that has persisted for so long. And she’s been doing it ever since. Read more…


Family Academy Interview with Vince Frazier

Parents are the first and primary teachers of their children. NAZ Family Academy is one important step in NAZ’s ecosystem of support that provides parents with the knowledge and resources to help their young scholars succeed. These classes are an important part of our layered and aligned collaborative strategy and focus on providing parents with ... Read more »