In the last few months, many Minnesotans–and people outside of Minnesota–were surprised at the unrest following the police killing of Philando Castile, and the occupation outside the Governor’s mansion. A handful of media outlets covered the stark racial disparities in education, housing, and employment in Minnesota, often with an air of shock given widely circulated stories of Minnesota’s progressive northern pedigree. The disbelief about Minnesota’s racial divides reflects what the Ford Foundation named as one of the main drivers of inequality: “entrenched cultural narratives that undermine fairness, tolerance, and inclusions.” Narratives of Minnesota’s progressiveness often undermine efforts to understand why this state continues to exhibit some of the worst racial disparities in the country.
This panel responds with stories about Minnesota that are not as well known as the “Minnesota Miracle.” Drawing on these narratives and the data that support them, the panel will discuss how these stories provide a different starting point for diagnosing problems and generating solutions, with a focus on housing, arts and education disparities.
Featured panelists: Vichet Chhuon, Curriculum & Instruction; Brittany Lewis, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Keith Mayes, African & African American Studies; Tia Simone-Gardner, McKnight Arts Fellow. Moderated by Catherine Squires, Prof. of Communications and Director of the Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Initiative.
Organized by the IAS Collaborative on Well-being in the Midwest African Diaspora. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact the IAS (firstname.lastname@example.org 612-626-5054) at least two weeks prior to the event.