Erica Valliant is an advocate, organizer, and parent. Her journey with Saint Paul Public Schools started over 15 years ago with the Early Childhood Special Education team, as a parent advocating for her young child’s success. She’s worked teachers and staff to develop and navigate multiple of her students’ IEP and 504 plans, served on PTA, helped plan school engagement events and volunteered on field trips. Even after experiencing homelessness with her family, Erica continues advocating for access to quality education and housing for children and families, working with other parents, coalitions, and statewide stakeholders around systems change through policy and legislation such as Homework Starts with Home and The Community Solutions Fund


Erica works full-time at People Serving People- the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention, where she manages the Whole Family Systems Initiative  in a learning process and partnership, exploring the problem of family homelessness that overwhelmingly impacts African American and Native American families. In community she sits on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Victoria Theater, and Chairs the Summit University Planning Council. She is also a member of the Saint Paul Charter Commission and was a finalist in 2022 for the recently filled Interim Ward 1 City Council vacancy. She is a 3rd year member of the Regional Expert Network- a table of community stakeholders with lived experience of homelessness dedicated to ending homelessness in MN and an alumni of multiple leadership programs including Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Neighborhood Leadership Program, Community Equity Program, and the Nexus Community Partners (Nexus) Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). In 2018, Ms. Valliant received an Unsung Hero award presented by Minnesota Communities Caring for Children and was an Upswell 2018 Bush fellow.  Her professional background includes financial services and insurance, telecommunications, access & equity, community engagement and systems change.

Erica is featured as a REbuilder in the book Taking Charge of Change: How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems by Paul Shoemaker. Listen to the podcast below. 

Taking Charge of Change quote

Episode 09: Erica Valliant, Rebuilder — Paul Shoemaker

Erica and her family live in the Rondo area of Summit-University. Erica currently has 3 sons enrolled in 3 different Saint Paul Public Schools, middle and elementary, and 1 son in Headstart who will be starting kindergarten in September! 

A love of children, community, and the pursuit of positive change drive her in her work.

Bridging the Gap: Eliminating racial disparities in education so every child can reach their full potential - morning session

Erica Valliant speaks truth to power at MN Senate committee hearing

Reducing Discipline gaps in Classrooms.