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ENEWS: Time is Now, Tacking Action Statewide, International Leadership

Date Published: 08/05/2019

Author: Sarah Leistico

The time is now for courageous action

Growth & Justice makes it a mission to highlight and amplify the welcoming communities equity work happening in rural Minnesota that often goes unnoticed.  While many communities are innovating new ways to welcome, this summer, regional and national publications continued to remind us that much work remains within our state to combat racism and anti-immigrant views.

Kathy Annette, President of the Blandin Foundation, recently added her powerful voice to the response of Minnesotans rebuking racism and bigotry in a call-to-action entitled, “The time is now for courageous action”. Dr. Annette recognizes that “racism, hate, and bigotry are alive in rural Minnesota,” but they “must be met with hope, leadership and the firm belief that communities are stronger when they work for every resident.” She goes on to share that rural residents believe their community is able to stand up to hate and are optimistic about the future of their communities, urging them to truly make a commitment and stand up for welcoming and inclusive communities. Closing with an inspiring sentiment, Dr. Annette states, “Rural people, rural places are beautiful, resilient and resourceful.  Let’s not give our sense of community away, not on our watch. We stand with you.”  

Taking Action Statewide: MN Equity Blueprint in MN Women’s Press

We’re excited to share that Minnesota Women’s Press featured Thriving by Design and the Minnesota Equity Blueprint in their Greater Minnesota August 2019 Issue - which includes a collective sample of endeavors statewide. The article highlights Growth & Justice and OneMN.org’s effort for a “comprehensive, non- partisan, long-term plan for shared prosperity in a healthier environment.” The feature transitions from an overview of the Thriving by Design initiative into statewide demographic data, and outlines disparities among race and region that were framed in the first chapter of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint – Human Capital. In related news, we’re thrilled to announce that the second chapter of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint – Economic Development – is available to view online TODAY!

International Community Development Leadership

Growth & Justice is proud to share that our President, Jane Leonard, was officially named the Community Development Society’s (CDS) Chair in July 2019. In a ceremony at the 50th Anniversary CDS Annual International Conference – Community Development: Coming Home to Cultivate the Future in Columbia, MO, the outgoing Chair, Cindy Banyai, passed the torch to Leonard. This new adjacent leadership position in relation to Growth & Justice’s work will be beneficial for our organization, its mission, and our work as we collaborate on a national and international stage with experts, researchers, and practitioners from around the world working together towards change for the better. 

Quote:The time is now. To recognize racism and discrimination, to name and stop it when we see it. To stand with those working to make our communities more welcoming. To make sure that opportunity truly is available to all, that no one is living unseen in the shadows. To recognize that our destinies are intertwined with those of neighbors.  To not let another hateful remark or act pass without addressing it.  To be courageous and curious.” Kathy Annette in letter to the editor “The time is now for courageous action.”


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