Vina Kay

Recent Articles

Racial Equity Justice Day at the Capitol a multicultural rally

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


By most accounts, 2013 saw some promising action by the Minnesota State Legislature, such as passing the Dream Act and the Homeowners Bill of Rights. But with Minnesota at the bottom nationwide in terms of racial equality, there is clearly much work to be done. To that end, last week the Organizing Apprentice Project (OAP) held the Racial Equity Justice Day at the Hill, an event that included a multiracial and multicultural mix of people and organizations — and that was attended by a few state legislators as well. The purpose of the rally, said Vina Kay, OAP’s director of research and policy, was to “attend to unfinished business in 2014.” The rally began in the Capitol Rotunda and included speakers and spoken word performances. Speaking were artist Brother Ali; Vina Kay; rap/hip hop performers Lioness and Guante; Peggy Flanagan of the Minnesota Children’s Defense Fund; Jovita Morales of Mesa Latina-Waite House; Nique Mabrey from

OutFront MN; Fernando Rodriguez, a sophomore at Owatonna High School and leader of Central Campesino Youth; Archie Davis of Trillium Works from Duluth; Nicole Buckanaga of Leech Lake; and Emilia Gonzalez Avalos of Navigate. 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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Short films’ premiere celebrates voting power of communities of color


By Vickie Evans-Nash



On Thursday, October 11, between 6:30 and 8:30 pm, the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis will host a unique red-carpet event. Guests will be greeted at the door, and as they arrive their entrance will be streamed live on the theater screen. Entertainment will include local performers, and community members will introduce a series of recently released YouTube videos. This is not a Twin-Cities-turns-Hollywood event; it is rather a kickoff event highlighting the importance of participating in the political process through casting a vote.  
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