MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 21, 2015) — The League of Women Voters Minneapolis (LWVMpls) will host its 2015 Healthy Legacy Forum, “Our Children’s Future: Advancing Health and Racial Equity, Pre-Cradle to Kindergarten,” on February 12 at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (1530 East Franklin Avenue).
This free, educational forum is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature Mayor Betsy Hodges discussing the city’s Pre-Cradle to Kindergarten Commission and her vision for making Minneapolis a place for all kids to receive the same opportunities to learn and flourish.
Exhibits and Networking will begin at 5:30 p.m., with food provided by local LWVMpls supporters. Entertainment by the dance group Karos Alive will precede the forum.
Eight speakers will examine a variety of challenges created by racial inequity in Minnesota and the solutions that lie in high-quality early childhood education. According to the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, one in five children in Minnesota under the age of six live in poverty, and more than 60% of those living in poverty are children of color. Generation Next reports that in 2013, only 70% of kindergarten students in Minnesota were prepared to enter kindergarten.
“We are pleased to bring the health and racial equity issue to a wider audience,” said Britt Heglund, Executive Director, LWVMpls. “Responses referenced in the 2014 Health Equity Report to the Legislature by the Minnesota Department of Health stressed that health equity should be brough to multiple audiences. We are trying to do just that with this forum.”
Participating panelists include: Representative Karen Clark; Jeanne Ayers, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health; Dr. Rose Brewer, AfroAmerican and African Studies professor, University of Minnesota; Farhio Khalif, founder of Voice of East African Women; Kathleen Schuler, Healthy Legacy Coalition co-director; and Stephanie Belseth, pediatric physician’s assistant at New Bridge Clinic.
League of Women Voters Minneapolis (LWVMpls) is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in all levels of government, especially at the local Minneapolis level. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. For more information, visit www.lwvmpls.org or call our office at 612-333-6319.