Dear Colleagues: I write to lament with you the loss of The Great Minnesota Get-Together® this week -- the Minnesota State Fair -- which to me is the best and largest gathering of productive Minnesota human capital at any one time in any one place (and is about 5 blocks from my home, in fact…).
I love the food (on or off a stick) and the sea of humanity – millions of Minnesotans and visitors across 12 days of homecoming. It’s the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive showcase of everyone from every corner and in between of our Minnesota Community. I love the showcase of imagination and innovation that is the Fair: the 4H kids and their incredible talents, organizations that exemplify community service, the creative arts, the machinery, exhibits on science and technology, and more. It’s a cavalcade of multiculturalism, multiple faiths, and diverse political beliefs – a robust mix of rural, urban, and suburban folks learning about one another assisted by a shared love of being at the State Fair together.
And speaking of showcasing productive human capital, we are doing just that in our third Minnesota Equity Blueprint Breakfast, on September 2, from 8 to 8:30 a.m. (see invite below!). Our special guest is Benya Kraus, Waseca native, co-founder of Lead for America, and executive director of Lead for Minnesota. Lead4MN (“Start Where You Live”) recruits, trains, and places young leaders – Hometown Fellows - into two-year paid fellowships in their hometown or home state communities to attract and retain the next generation of leaders who can help carry forward the equitable and inclusive vision and actions needed to build a shared prosperity, justice, and connectedness between our urban and rural regions, and within local communities.
In an era of corrosive divisiveness and especially as we enter these next two months of political brawling towards the November elections, please take a few minutes this Wednesday morning to (virtually) share some State Fair donuts and learn more about the restorative powers of human capital that are exemplified by Lead for Minnesota. While we can’t physically gather at the MN State Fair Progress Center (home of the Eco-Experience) this year, we can keep making progress, inspired by The Great Minnesota Get-Together®.
--Jane Leonard, President, Growth & Justice
Tune in this Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 8-8:30 a.m. for the next Blueprint Breakfast, on Human Capital, in our Recipes for Success series! Register for the event here. As Jane writes above, this session features Executive Director Benya Kraus and fellows of Lead for Minnesota. Fellows of LFM work to “strengthen our public institutions, revitalize our local communities, and cultivate the next bench of transformational civic leaders” and “bring added capacity to resource-strapped communities - particularly rural, tribal, and economically distressed urban neighborhoods.” Hear about the incredible, locally-oriented work Lead for Minnesota and their fellows are doing to build up and support communities, and share your questions with us. In tribute to the Minnesota State Fair, our recipe theme is donuts. We encourage you to support Black-owned bakeries such as PJ Murphy’s Bakery, Mojo Monkey Donuts, and The Donut Trap by Sssdude-Nutz in the Twin Cities area (seen featured in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine). You can read the Human Capital chapter of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint here!
As we feel the loss of The Great Minnesota Get-Together® this time of year, it serves as yet another reminder for our state to band together to combat COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health website maintains daily updates, weekly reports and plenty of data and resources so that you can stay informed about the state of COVID-19 in Minnesota and how to navigate it. Here is their list of current guidelines and additional resources for Minnesotans, which provides instructions and recommendations for distancing, taking care of your face and hand hygiene, wearing face masks and coverings, cleaning, and traveling. The Governor’s Executive Order set in place on July 25 requires all Minnesotans to wear face masks or coverings in indoor public spaces unless they are alone. As fall and winter descend, it will be harder to keep social distance, so let's get together Minnesota and stop COVID in its tracks!
"The State Fair needs to be a full-on celebration. That’s what makes it very special for so many of us... And that’s exactly why we can’t have a fair this year. We owe it to you now, and we owe it to posterity to give you the very best that we possibly can in a safe environment. By taking the tough road today, we guarantee that the fair’s future remains hopeful and bright." - Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer