It has now been a year since George Floyd’s life was taken from him on May 25, 2020, creating a wave of protests across the world. People in Minneapolis, as well as many other cities, commemorated his life and death and rallied for change this past week— you can read about it from these Associated Press and Star Tribune articles. If you’d like to watch, MPR also published a video compilation showing Floyd’s family members remembering him. George Floyd should be alive today. The anniversary of his death is yet another stark reminder of the urgent need to change the systems that took his life away from him.
Our colleague and partner Dr. Bruce Corrie has written another wonderful op-ed— this time you can read it in the Pioneer Press! He discusses a significant opportunity in the Minnesota Legislature to address racial economic disparities in the state. To initiate a “system reboot,” Dr. Corrie says we must act in three crucial ways: confront the denial of a person’s value, examine the accessibility of our policies, programs and institutions for ALANA communities, and move toward a more comprehensive strategy and investment to address disparities, rather than relying on “scattered” investments.
“The stars are being aligned for a significant breakthrough in eliminating racial economic disparities in Minnesota: a heightened awareness of the causes and consequences of racial economic disparities, engaged leaders across the political and economic spectrum, visionary leaders with effective models to build upon and an infusion of investments at the federal and state level,” Dr. Corrie writes.
The Minnesota Equity Map, created through a partnership between students at University of Minnesota - Morris Center for Small Towns and Growth & Justice, was featured in the Ecolution series by the Women’s Press! Argie Manolis, the director of the Center for Small Towns, discusses the Center for Small Towns’ goal of “enhancing the assets [people] already have” by “being supportive, not intrusive, to build vibrant and just communities.” She talks about the map as a way of flipping the “negative narrative that there are no opportunities or equity in small towns” and showing that “people in small towns have a lot of ability to make change that might be harder in bigger communities.” You can read the full article here and view the MN Equity Map on our website. If you would like to share a story about equity work happening in your community, you can fill out this form to have it featured on the map.
"It has been a long year. It has been a painful year… It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye - I still don't know why… There's been a lot of names added to the list after my brother's death, and still nothing is being done." — Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, speaking to people gathered downtown on May 25, 2021