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ENEWS: COVID-19 and Equity, Blueprint Breakfasts Begin, Please Help Us Maintain Momentum

Date Published: 03/25/2020

Author: Dane Smith

Pandemic Responses Serving Equity

Nobody would have believed us if at the beginning of this month we predicted that by end of the month we would see speedy bipartisan agreements for major investments  in public health systems, massive appropriations and sweeping policies to protect  economic security for  lower- and middle-income families, and a growing spirit of communitarian solidarity across the state and nation.  Growth & Justice and our partners issued a call for exactly those kinds of policies and practices in our Minnesota Equity Blueprint roll-out on Feb. 27.  And while positive steps in that direction are made possible only by one of the most frightening pandemics and economic shocks we’ve seen in a century, the response to this threat to our common good may have a salutary effect in the long run.    Going forward, Growth & Justice and our partners in the Thriving by Design Network will be a strong voice advancing ways to sustain a movement for equity and environmental resilience in Minnesota, long beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.   In this spirit, we highly recommend Governing magazines’s recent commentary, ”The Coronavirus’s Harsher Reality for the Most Vulnerable.”

Equity Blueprint Breakfasts Begin Online

It’s not our first choice (face-to-face connections are) but thanks to attendees from Brainerd, Morris, and the Twin Cities, on Tuesday this week, we completed a good test run for our planned series of Minnesota Equity Blueprint Breakfasts. We had hoped to do these in person throughout the spring and early summer, to cast the Blueprint idea seeds far and wide, but online will have to do in the face of the COVID-19 bug.  G & J staff received helpful feedback on the test effort, and some great advice for moving the Equity Blueprint breakfasts forward in digestible chunks across the state. So watch for more invites to join the virtual breakfasts across these many months ahead.   You can start reading the Blueprint here. Please send us your thoughts for what sections you want to explore in more detail and we’ll customize one hour sessions to accommodate! (Please send ideas to matt@growthandjustice.org)

Note from G & J President Jane Leonard – Generous Spirits Go Viral

Ten years ago this month I was in Australia towards the end of a three-month self-funded sabbatical to study rural community economic reinvention there. One of the folks who graciously offered me his time and advice (and a place to stay in Western Australia for a few days!) was Peter Kenyon. Today I received Peter’s Bank of I.D.E.A.S. newsletter listing all the amazing ways people across the world are stepping up with kindness, community building, and generosity in the face of COVID-19. Such individual and community generosity is happening in Minnesota, too, and like many non-profits, G & J is trying to stay afloat and helpful during this precarious time. Equitable growth & social justice is more relevant than ever. Our recently published Minnesota Equity Blueprint is a timely storehouse of ideas and a clear pathway for equity and inclusion action. More so, the Blueprint heralds critically needed direction for humanity after COVID.  Through this difficult time now, we will continue to share ideas and practices that are good for all and all for good. Please consider a donation to G & J to keep the great ideas and inspiration beaming across the landscape. Thank you for your enduring support. https://growthandjustice.org/support


“As a nation we must take this time not only to deal with the spread of COVID-19 but also, equally importantly, with poverty and with income and wealth inequality if we are ever to be safe, healthy, just and great again.’’   -- Jabari Simana, Education and Government Columnist, in Governing magazine cited above.

“This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, quoted from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. cited above. 

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