Our Minnesota Equity Blueprint is now featured prominently on the McKnight Foundation’s website as a valuable resource for folks engaged in community building and non-profit work focused on racial and regional inequalities and climate change. The link to our Blueprint download is connected to McKnight’s programmatic commitment to Midwest Climate & Energy, to Vibrant & Equitable Communities, and to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. McKnight describes our Blueprint as “a comprehensive, non-partisan, long-term plan for shared prosperity in a healthier environment. The Blueprint is designed to reflect the interconnectedness of our state’s people and regions, as well as interconnectedness between the disparities, challenges, and solutions that shape our future.’’
Investments in public health and universal access to affordable high-quality health-care have been a top priority for Growth & Justice throughout almost two decades of advocacy for equitable prosperity in Minnesota. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn now underway underscore the need not only for public health improvements but for equity policy and economic security more broadly. Many national and state groups allied in these causes have been working overtime to provide resources for responding to the immediate crisis and also to the wider restoration of our community, our economy and our environment that needs to happen once the crisis passes. Here are links to some of these resources and we’ll post more in coming weeks: COVID-19 Racial Equity Tools & Resources, Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus Outbreak in the United States (NAACP), Re-Evaluating Climate Action Tactics in the Face of Pandemic.
Jane Leonard was recently invited to join the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute of the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Her first meeting of a two-year term featured sobering briefings on the COVID-19-related community and economic impacts, from Neel Kashkari, President & CEO of the FRB-Mpls, Mark Wright, Senior VP & Director of Research, and other FRB staffers. CAB members weighed in on the immediate impacts in their own organizations and constituencies. Results from a recent survey of business impact throughout the 9th district are featured in an excellent article by Ron Wirtz, FRB's Director of Outreach.
In these uncertain times, one thing is certain: the COVID-19 crisis is upending long-held assumptions about our community, health, and economic systems. We can and must prepare conditions for a better life and livelihood -- for equitable growth and social justice for all during and after COVID. Ironically and hopefully, opportunity stares right at us in the form of community cohesion growing stronger in the face of our current physical isolation. To help us all stay connected, last week G & J staff hosted the pilot MN Equity Blueprint Breakfast, virtually via Zoom. Conversation with participants in Morris and Brainerd was extremely helpful in shaping the course of the next offerings. We have renamed the Spring 2020 sessions "Minnesota Equity Blueprint Breaks" to give us all time for a little coffee break with neighbors across the state, to discuss and get your input on small, digestible chunks of the Blueprint. We'll host the next Blueprint Break towards the end of April, likely on the topic of Infrastructure, the focus of the Blueprint third chapter. You can get a free downloadable copy of the Blueprint or purchase a printed copy in advance by clicking here. The Blueprint is an excellent roadmap to see what Minnesotans are doing and can aspire to be, during and after we emerge from COVID's grip. We can use your financial support in continuing dissemination of the Blueprint. We know it's extra tough to find cash these days to support non-profits that are not essential in the immediate COVID fight. Yet, going forward it is essential to ensure now that equitable growth and social justice fundamentally intertwine if we are to achieve and sustain thriving inclusive economies, vibrant welcoming communities, and a strong democracy. Help us keep that message out and strong. Donations of any size are appreciated at https://growthandjustice.org/support
"When this is all over, will we slide ever deeper into a nightmare of inequality, precarity and social alienation? Or will we use this crisis to begin to make the big structural changes that we need to build a more just and equitable society?'’ Ady Barkan, terminally ill ALS patient and leading advocate for Medicare for All, in recent Time magazine article.