Recent tragedies in St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and Dallas remind us once again of the life-and-death importance of our mission, advancing constructive and practical solutions that reduce inequalities and erase racial disparity in Minnesota. We are compelled to press on, seeking “the unity of hope, affection, and high purpose” that former President Bush called for this week in Dallas. And we take to heart President Obama’s exhortation there to “act on the truths we know” by “forging consensus and fighting cynicism and finding the will to make change.” Here’s a quick look at our recent efforts.
Last month Growth & Justice participated in the “Prenatal to Three Policy Forum” sponsored by Rep. Dave Pinto and attended by scores of key leaders in early childhood education. The event made it clear that the emphasis on early education is shifting to that most crucial period, prenatal preparation to the age of 3, and particularly for low-income and communities of color. To learn more about why this shift is important visit the websites of these participating organizations and look for Growth & Justice to add our voice to the conversation.
At a recent conference of Minnesota State (colleges and universities) development officers, Growth & Justice president Dane Smith moderated a panel of employers and educators who are focused on developing state-of-the-art “Career Pathway” models in Minnesota. Check out these inspiring personal stories about career “pathfinders” who are succeeding against the odds with the Career Pathway model and moving Minnesota toward racial equity in higher education attainment and workforce outcomes. Growth & Justice researched and wrote these stories in partnership with the Minneapolis-St.Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin).
Among the Minnesota organizations at the forefront of the “Cradle-to-Career” effort to improve education outcomes and workforce readiness is Generation Next. It’s a grand partnership between business, education, nonprofit, and government leaders to bring a cohesive, all-in approach to education equity in the Twin Cities. Growth & Justice has been a leading voice in support of a statewide movement toward such community partnerships (see the Education Partnerships Coalition Report on our website) and we participated in a recent stakeholder breakout session for Generation Next. Download the 2015 Minneapolis-Saint Paul Community Report Card to learn more about the progress and substantial remaining challenges for these partnerships.
Few Minnesota governors have been as influential and innovative as Rudy Perpich, who held office FOR 10 years over three terms from 1976 through 1990. Perpich brought a relentless emphasis to making Minnesota “The Brainpower State” and thus to educational equity and attainment as an engine for “jobs, jobs, jobs.” That’s our refrain at Growth & Justice and we were invited to attend an event honoring him at the Mall of America on June 27. To learn more about Perpich’s legacy, influence, and the event check out the links below.