September 27, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 1, 2019) — The Minneapolis Foundation is bringing together community members, activists, influencers, thought leaders and more at its next Conversations with Chanda live event, featuring guest Dr. Yusef Salaam, on Monday, Aug. 5 at the American Swedish Institute.

As one of the Central Park Five, Dr. Salaam spent nearly seven years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. His story has re-engaged a national conversation with the launch of Ava DuVernay’s new Emmy-nominated Netflix miniseries, “When They See Us,” which tells the story of this important and controversial case. 

Chanda Smith Baker, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Community Impact, will engage Dr. Salaam in a conversation to understand what he’s experienced and learned about the criminal justice system and the reforms he believes are needed.

In addition, Smith Baker will host a second conversation in the evening focused on criminal justice reform in the state of Minnesota, with remarks by Dr. Salaam. The event will feature a panel discussion with prominent leaders to discuss the current state of the criminal justice system and what needs to be done in order to make change. Joining Smith Baker and Dr. Salaam on stage will be Attorney General Keith EllisonDepartment of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. 

Commissioner Harrington and Attorney General Ellison recently announced the formation of a Working Group to focus on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters, of which both Chief Arradondo and Chanda Smith Baker are members.

About Conversations with Chanda

Conversations with Chanda live events are part of The Minneapolis Foundation’s ongoing efforts to bring people together to have the tough conversations that are necessary in order to find shared ground and make lasting change.  

Also launching in August is the Conversations with Chanda podcast, which features conversations in which tough issues are named and discussed in a venue available to the entire community. Season one features intimate conversations with Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Valerie Castile, and others, all of whom discuss their approaches to critical challenges we are facing. The podcast will be available at, along with information about upcoming live events in the series.

Key Event Details

Conversations with Chanda featuring Dr. Yusef Salaam

Registration: 9:30 – 10 a.m. | Program: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

American Swedish Institute

Community Conversation featuring Dr. Yusef Salaam, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Commissioner John Harrington, and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Registration: 5:30 – 6 p.m. | Program: 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

About The Minneapolis Foundation: For more than 100 years, The Minneapolis Foundation has connected people, resources, and ideas to improve lives in Minnesota and beyond. The Foundation manages $890 million in assets, providing customized and tax‐smart giving solutions that result in the average annual distribution of more than $50 million in grants. The Foundation brings people together to unite behind common goals and spark positive change in our community.