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Timothy Bess's Biography

Member Info

Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Married to Nancy since 1977
Feb 2009

Tim Bess is a retired public school educator.  He worked in education for thirty-one years as a teacher, school psychologist, principal, director of special education, assistant director of special education and founder/director of an Alternative Learning Center.

Tim retired from public education four years ago to focus full time on issues of white privilege and combating racism in Minnesota.  He co-facilitates  groups on understanding privilege with his friend, Joyce Yamamoto.  Together they work to eliminate racism in the Twin Cities metropolitain area and State of Minnesota.

Tim is a trained SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) trainer and also conducts SEED training sessions with school teachers and administrators in Minnesota.  Tim and a colleague started the first SEED group exclusively for public school administrators.  He also works with the YWCA of Minneapolis and Tolerance Minnesota as a consultant on social justice.

Tim has  presented at the National Association of Multicultural Education International Conferences three times and attends their conferences on a regular basis. He also attends the White Privilege Conference on a regular basis to continue learning from others working on issues of white privilege.  Tim continues his journey by building coalitions with people who are like him and different from him in expereinces, racial identity, class, gender, ableness and culture.

As a Social Justice Educator, Tim actively works to educate white folks about the privilege of being white in America.  He provides his own story as a beginning to the conversation then leads groups to a better understanding of their past socialization and how to use their knowledge of themselves to change their beliefs, assumptions, attitudes  and understanding to create a more equitable society.

Tim's grandmother was Comanche, however, he grew up white in a white world and did not expereince the discrimination that his grandmother lived.  Tim refers to himself as a white male, but has a great respect for his native roots.  Tim does not belong to a tribe but has studied native culture extensively.

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White Privilege  and Anti Racism work

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