Civil Rights Activist DeRay Mckesson will Keynote Hiawatha Academies Inaugural Senior Signing Day

Celebrating Hiawatha Academies’ First Graduating Class


DeRay Mckesson, American civil rights activist photographed in New York CIty.

Minneapolis, MN On Friday, May 17 the first graduating class of Hiawatha Academies will celebrate their admission to college. 100% of Hiawatha Collegiate High School’s seniors have been admitted to college. At the event, each senior will announce in the presence of family, friends and supporters the college they have chosen to attend.

DeRay Mckesson will keynote the event. DeRay is an American civil rights activist, community organizer, and the host of the award-winning podcast, Pod Save the People. He started his career as an educator. DeRay was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and as one of the 30 Most Influential People On The Internet by Time Magazine in 2016.

Hiawatha Collegiate High School’s 73 scholars have 265 college admissions letters in hand. 100 percent college admission is remarkable in Minnesota, a state with one of the nation’s lowest high school graduation rates for students of color. Hiawatha Academies aims to ensure access to college as a path to eliminate educational disparities between students of color and their white peers.

Nearly all of the students will be the first in their family to attend college. “Being accepted into college is a really big step in my life,” says Kamren Anderson, a senior at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. “I used to think that I wasn’t smart enough to go to college or like I would never go to college. Over the years I’ve matured and tell myself that I can do it and not give up.”