OUR MPLS

Recent Articles

Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity

Community members encouraged to participate and be heard
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) officials have announced that all future district policies, practices, programs and procedures, as well as the allocation of resources “that have a significant impact on student learning,” will be assessed for equity and diversity “so that no community is disproportionately impacted.”

A new Equity and Diversity Assessment policy is now in place, said Equality and Diversity Executive Director James Burroughs in a recent MSR interview at the school’s Davis Center headquarters. “It basically says that all of our practices, policies and procedures as we go forward will undergo an Equity Impact Assessment,” he explained. “It’s about a four- or five-page document [applied to] any decision that we make, how are they impacting our families, especially our families of color who traditionally have been underserved by us. But now we are making a conscious and intentional effort to make sure that they are served better.”

The assessment also will help evaluate how MPS decisions “are impacting our communities,” Burroughs pointed out. “Who’s at the table when we are making decisions on Black boys? Continue Reading →

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City’s ‘Vision, Values, Goals & Strategic Directions’ open to public comment

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The public has until March 14 to submit comments on the City of Minneapolis’ proposed “Vision, Values, Goals & Strategic Directions” plan. If adopted — the City Council hopes to vote on it March 26 — the proposal will emphasize such “values” as “equity, “engaging the community,” and “building public trust.”

The stated “goals” are expected to focus on economic needs; eliminating racial inequities in housing, education, income and health; and creating a “City government [that] runs well and connects to the community it serves.”

Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden said last month during a noontime community meeting that the plan fits in with the OUR MPLS vision and agenda, which includes a citywide racial and economic equity impact framework. Three public meetings were held around the city to inform citizens and hear comments, and according to a City official an estimated 70 persons showed up. When later asked how many persons who attended were Black and other people of color, Deputy City Coordinator Jay Stroebel told the MSR that “the majority” of the estimated 20 people who attended a March 3 meeting

were of color. Councilman Abdi Warsame also announced that 22 seniors attended a March 4 meeting in his ward. Continue Reading →

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Community organizers lay foundation for racial equity agenda in Minneapolis

OUR MPLS: strategic proposals aimed at keeping City leaders accountable to communities of color
 
 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

With new leadership now at Minneapolis City Hall, a coalition of locally based organizations have developed a new racial and economic justice agenda for the city. Their dialogue at a recent community meeting reflected a new enthusiasm and optimism for moving with this new leadership in “moving racial equity forward.”

“What would racial and economic justice in Minneapolis look like?” asked Vina Kay last week during a monthly community meeting hosted by Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden at Butter Bakery Café on the city’s South Side. “We have a lot of trouble thinking that way about [racial justice] in Minneapolis,” she said, adding that the community needs to help City leaders see “that these disparities run throughout our communities and cut across multiple issues.”

Kay, research and policy director for Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP); Hope Communities Organizing and Community Building Director Chaka Mkali; and Avi Viswanathan, an organizer for HIRE Minnesota spoke on OUR MPLS, whose key components include “authentic community engagement” by City leaders with communities of color and low-income communities “in defining City priorities,” prioritizing bus rapid transit in low-income neighborhoods, and more investment in youth programming. “We came together in mid-December because we saw this as an opportunity — a lot of new leadership” including a new mayor and several new council members in Minneapolis, recalled

Kay. Minneapolis “is a racial and unjust city right now,” she pointed out. Continue Reading →

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