Town Hall Meeting scheduled to obtain public input
The National NAACP has announced plans to create an Economic Inclusion Plan (EIP) for the Twin Cities. The EIP is designed to serve as a resource for community residents, elected officials and stakeholders to alleviate systematic, government-sanctioned racial discrimination through beneficial economic policy and programmatic solutions.
The national organization previously released plans in February 2018 for three cities marked by a history of police brutality and social unrest: Baltimore, Md., Charlotte, NC, and St. Louis, Mo.
“These cities were chosen as a starting place namely because of the unprecedented rise in tension between law enforcement and community members on the heels of three officer-involved shootings,” stated Joel Franklin, JD, NAACP Minnesota/Dakotas Area State Conference President, in a press release. “Minneapolis and St. Paul were chosen due to the recent social unrest surrounding the police shootings of Philando Castile and Jamar Clark.”
The NAACP is set to work with the local Minneapolis and St. Paul chapters to create a plan to address racial disparities resulting from the cities’ current social and economic climate. NAACP Minneapolis chapter president Leslie Redmond said the planning couldn’t come at a better time.
“This is going to help us to get a lot of valuable information that we can utilize to help activate the community. We know Minnesota has some of the worst disparities in the nation,” said Redmond, referring to a recent report ranking the Twin Cities as the fourth-worst state for Blacks. “But now what do we do with this? We know that the community is suffering, but what are we going to implement?”
Those plans, she said, also need to extend beyond the NAACP. A town hall meeting will be held on Monday next week (see details below) to gather community input on how to best address issues affecting the Black community. Panel experts include Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison; Me’Lea Connelly, founder, Blexit; Dr. Artika Tyner, associate vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, University of St. Thomas; Gary Cunningham, president and CEO, Metropolitan Economic Development Association; and Dr. Bruce Corrie, planning and economic development director, City of St. Paul.
“It needs to be a community voice,” Redmond said. “Every table that were not at, we’re typically on the menu, so be at the table — these issues are impacting you, these policies are impacting you — and allow your voice to be heard.
The Twin Cities Economic Inclusion Plan Town Hall Meeting will be held Monday, December 10, 6 pm at the Minneapolis Urban League, located at 2100 Plymouth Ave. N. in Minneapolis.
For more information, visit naacp.org
Stephenetta Harmon is a Black beauty editor, curator, and digital media and communications expert who builds platforms to celebrate the power, impact, and business of Black beauty. She is the former EIC for Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (2018-19) and current host of MSR Forefront, a digital roundtable series. She is the founder of Sadiaa Black Beauty Guide, the premier directory dedicated to Black-owned hair and beauty businesses. Find her at stephenetta.com.