The leaves change color, the days grow shorter, and the temperatures drop as we mark the transition to the autumn season. The cycles of our natural environment are recognizable even as our human conditions become increasingly unfamiliar. Our country and communities are burning: from wildfires, from centuries of racialized aggression and oppression, and from the widening social distance betwixt one another as COVID and our polarized perspectives challenge our sense of collective trust. Rather than turn away, these dual pandemics call for us to turn toward one another and invest in the community fabric that remains as well as to sew together new threads.
Activating an anti-racist lens to our historical and current challenges as a nation, casting votes for Presidential and municipal elections to advance greater civility and inclusivity within our elected leadership and culture, and supporting mutual aid and connections in our daily lives and communities are part of the key ways we can show up for ourselves and each other right now. Specifically, there are opportunities to text voters with CAAL during upcoming phone banks, write letters to voters to increase turnout, and continue learning and engaging via the opportunities within this Dispatch. Through all of this, tending to individual and communal social and emotional well-being are critical, and ultimately may result in healthy practices and ways of being we might not have otherwise developed if not for our time in quarantine. Take good care as we all make a new way.
Tapping the Potential of Community Engagement
This 4-part workshop series is designed to deepen your knowledge, broaden your perspective, and sharpen your skills as you explore the potential for community engagement to create equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities. The sessions are for anyone who is interested in learning more about community engagement, or for those who wish to deepen their work with community. Session Topics: -Session 1: What is Community Engagement? -Session 2: Shifting Power: Moving from Service to Engagement -Session 3: Healing through Community Engagement -Session 4: Moving Forward: Integrating Community Engagement Practices and Shifting Work Culture [Learn more.]
It's Time to Talk: Forums on Race™
It's Time to Talk: Forums on Race fosters a space for racial justice engagement that is open to all people, no matter where they are in their racial justice journey. Participants connect with a network of people committed to racial justice and attendees leave the event ready to advance inclusion at work, in the community and with family and friends. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, YWCA Minneapolis has shifted the event to a virtual platform and expanded our event program to address the issues most impacting our community. It's Time to Talk attendees will have access to exclusive workshops and events leading up to October 21. This virtual event will feature a conversation with Khaled Beydoun, moderated by Dr. Erika Lee. [Register online.]
It's that time of year again for our annual Great Minnesota Get Together and back-to school, and neither are what we have traditionally known them to be. Anxieties and necessary invention abound as so much of who we are, the culture we have allowed, and the systems that we have reinforced are increasingly exposed. This time of dual pandemics persists and calls on us to find ever greater resources within ourselves and one another.
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” -The Gospel of Thomas
Just as the heat of summer is giving way to cooler air as fall starts to show its arrival, we are reminded that nature moves in cycles and the seasons are still with us in this otherwise unrecognizable time. Looking ahead, we know it will be hard to remember in the depths of winter how there could ever be such light and warmth, so let us honor that we are right now in that place of proof. While so much of what is shared in this month's newsletter is via virtual, physically-distanced engagement, let's keep connected to our curiosity, individual growth, desire for transformative change, and our social connectedness. Stay well and #MaskUpMN!
Board Repair ReLaunch
This event is hosted by Board Repair, an independent network that aims to create a more effective nonprofit sector by increasing participation of BIPOC on boards in the Twin Cities. At this virtual gathering, Board Repair will: -Update you on Board Repair fall offerings -Network with other BIPOC individuals who are interested in board service -Connect and explore board service opportunities -Hear your needs and how Board Repair can help! This gathering welcomes individuals who identify as BIPOC who are interested in nonprofit board service and or joining a nonprofit board. The event will be hosted on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:00 noon via Zoom (link will be provided prior to the event). Please register by September 9 to claim your spot. Contact email@example.com if you need assistance. [Learn more.]
Apply for the Bush Fellowship
The Bush Fellowship is a recognition of your extraordinary accomplishments and support for your potential. It is an investment in you, so that you can make a difference in your community. The Fellowship is a flexible grant of up to $100,000 to help you strengthen and develop your leadership. As a Fellow, you define your own vision and create a unique Fellowship plan to learn the skills and build the relationships that will help you make your vision a reality. Criteria for selecting Fellows is based on the combination of an extraordinary track record of success, a Fellowship plan that reflects the ability to dream big about what is possible and the skills and potential to bring the plan to life. Application deadline is September 17, 2020 at noon Central. [Learn more.]
It's an historic time as we continue to see protests and legislative proposals in support of Black lives, neighbors stepping up to provide mutual aid and social connections in a time of physical distancing, and increased individual and collective initiative to create change. In addition to holding critical conversations, making donations, and volunteering time, it's more important than ever to take action by completing the 2020 Census Form and making plans to vote in this Presidential Election Year. Fill out the Decennial Census form online at my2020census.gov and register to vote by mail or other manners at the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. Keep engaging in each and all of the ways available to you in order to leverage your voice, your vote, and your power to take action in 2020 for the future that is to follow!
BMPP Micro-Grant Applications
BMPP Giving Circle's 2020 grant cycle is now accepting proposals. Micro-grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects serving the Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander communities that are focused on building solidarity across Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latinx (all usually included in the umbrella of BIPOC) communities and healing projects that hold and support communities during this moment. This can include (but is not limited to) community and neighborhood organizing efforts, community teach-ins that liberate the mind and creates opportunities to unlearn and relearn BIPOC-centered histories and issues, work that centers the needs of BIPOC communities in issues-based advocacy and power building, and providing healing for communities, artists, organizers, etc. Deadline is August 14, 2020. [Learn more.]
Pro bono services from Goff Public
"Over many years, Goff Public has been honored to help address racial disparities in our community through a variety of client and pro bono work and involvement in civic organizations. But we know that much more must be done to achieve a just and equal society, so we are dedicating our experience, talent and hard work where it can count. We are currently offering some of our communications and government relations services at no cost to local nonprofits and advocacy organizations that are working to achieve racial equity within our community. Whether it is advocating for legislation at the state Capitol, developing communications strategies or pitching stories to news outlets – we want to support organizations that are striving for constructive change, building relationships, and sharing resources and perspectives to help educate the community. Organizations that are interested in our pro bono services can fill out the form by August 21." [Learn more.]
This month, we celebrated Pride, recognizing Stonewall was a riot, as well as Juneteenth, knowing that our nation's other Independence Day symbolizes how justice has always been delayed for Black Americans. We are living in unprecedented times and while we may understandably yearn for a sense of certainty and stability, it’s clear that what was considered normal prior to this pandemic was not working for most of us, and as such, we are called to make a new way for ourselves and our communities in this time of transformation.
Today, the Board of Commissioners voted to declare racism a public health crisis in Hennepin County. "Due to racism, Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Hennepin County statistically have poorer educational outcomes, earn less, and are less likely to own homes or have access to quality health care and jobs than White people. These disparities have lifelong impacts, including higher disease rates, and, as we’re seeing now, higher rates of COVID-19. Naming racism as a systemic cause to disparities is key to continue to move this work forward." Let's draw inspiration from the courageous leadership of Commissioners Fernando and Conley to address a pandemic within a pandemic, and use the power and capacity we each have to contribute to our community's collective renewal.
Community Equity Program
The Community Equity Program (CEP) is an immersive program housed out of Wilder Foundation that brings together up to 15 Black, Indigenous, Black, People of Color (BIPOC) who currently serve as community leaders to build an even more powerful and influential voice in public policy decision making in order to drive social change and transform lives in Minnesota. Community Equity Program's mission is to deepen engagement of BIPOC communities in the legislative process by building connections to people, communities, groups, and organizations that influence or enact public policy. Apply for the 2020-21 CEP cohort by July 17! [Learn more.]
Facing Race Awards Nominations
The Facing Race Awards offer an annual recognition of anti-racism activists and organizations in Minnesota. They are a way to honor those in our community who challenge absent and harmful narratives on race, build solutions that unite, instead of divide, and push for justice and equity. Through these Awards, the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation celebrates and learns from those leading the way forward. Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their commitment to racial equity and anti-racism efforts in Minnesota? Nominate them for the Facing Race Awards by July 2. [Learn more.]
Coursera for Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has partnered with Coursera to provide free career-focused, online learning resources to Minnesotans. Coursera offers 3,800 courses and training modules from over 200 top businesses and universities, including more than 60 courses from the University of Minnesota. These learning opportunities are aimed at preparing people for in-demand jobs. This partnership is made possible by the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. Minnesotans interested in using Coursera must register before September 30, 2020 and will have access to the platform through March 2021. [Learn more.]
Emerging City Champions Fellowship
8 80 Cities is looking for young leaders with bold ideas to make mobility, public space, and civic engagement more equitable to apply for the Emerging City Champions fellowship and microgrant program funded by Knight Foundation. Now in its sixth year, the Emerging City Champions program has helped launch the leadership journeys of over 100 inspirational alumni. The program provides selected fellows aged 19-35 with leadership training, access to peer networks, coaching, and $5000 in seed funding to implement one community project in one year. Applications are due on Sunday, July 12. [Apply online.]