MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 14, 2016) – Voices for Racial Justice and a partnership of organizations committed to building racial equity in Minneapolis have announced that they will develop a racial equity report card that evaluates the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, and Minneapolis Public Schools to be released in 2016.
The OUR MPLS partners shared a racial equity vision and agenda with city leaders in early 2014, just after Mayor Betsy Hodges and several new City Council members and Parks Commissioners took office. The agenda called for intentional work to build racial equity in a city that has some of the nation’s worst disparities between people of color and white people.
Key principles in the agenda called for the adoption and implementation of a racial equity framework to guide all city policymaking, as well as leadership that better reflects the demographics in Minneapolis, and authentic community engagement that allows the perspectives of underrepresented communities to guide policymaking and practice. The agenda also called for policy change on issues including employment, housing, policing, education, parks, and the arts.
The city level racial equity report card builds on the 10-year experience that Voices for Racial Justice (formerly known as the Organizing Apprenticeship Project) has in producing a Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity. The OUR MPLS racial equity report card will be community-driven, drawing on the organizing and advocacy efforts of partners and the experiences that communities of color and Native American communities have in accessing opportunities in Minneapolis.
Methodology will include review of official action by the City Council and Mayor, the MPRB, and MPS leadership on policies that affect racial equity, and the surveying of city leaders and community leaders. As in the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, the OUR MPLS Racial Equity Report Card will grade individual leaders and the city as a whole. Also as with the legislative version, the report card will highlight leadership and progress toward racial equity, as well as missed opportunities and negative actions.
The OUR MPLS Racial Equity Report Card has been made possible through funding from the Minneapolis Foundation. Partners include the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Appetite for Change, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, HIRE Minnesota, Hope Community, Jewish Community Action, MPIRG, the Minneapolis NAACP, NAVIGATE, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Nexus Community Partners, Pillsbury United Communities, Somali Action Alliance, and others. The report is expected to be released in the fall of 2016.