Elisabeth "Biz" Lindsay-Ryan, Submitted Photo
Elisabeth "Biz" Lindsay-Ryan, Submitted Photo

On Aug. 19, the District 65 School Board unanimously voted to appoint Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan to the School Board to fill a vacancy that was created when Board member Lindsay Cohen resigned, citing a family move outside of the District’s boundaries. Ms. Lindsay-Ryan will serve until the elections in April 2021.

Ms. Lindsay-Ryan holds an MA from DePaul University in Human Services and Counseling and a BA from DePauw University. She served as the Director of Programs at the Women’s Center at Northwestern University for nearly a decade. She teaches classes on Civic Engagement, Diversity, Gender and Agents of Change at DePaul University’s School for New Learning, and is a diversity and inclusion professor, trainer, and consultant. As a diversity consultant, Ms. Lindsay-Ryan has facilitated equity, diversity and inclusion work in government entities, corporations, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

She has three children who attend District 65 and has consulted with District 65 in developing School Climate Teams, and was a presenter in the “Navigating Diversity” education series provided to the Evanston community.

School Board President Suni Kartha said the Board received 36 applications for the position. “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 Ms. Kartha. “She has incredible credentials, and we are thrilled that she will be joining us at the table.”

“I believe in the potential of Evanston and yet see where we are falling short as a community,” said Ms. Lindsay-Ryan in a prepared statement. “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.”