Minneapolis is holding segregated race talks amongst its city employees this summer.
During “Sacred Conversations with City Staff” black and white employees will be separated to reflect upon the “how they relate to the enslavement, resistance and continual push for liberation for African American people.”
The talks will be once a day in May, June, and July. Each month has a special topic for its talks. May’s theme is “Remembering Who We Are,” June’s theme is “Recovering the Narratives of Oppression and Liberation” and July’s theme is “Re-imagining a Future without Harm.” The discussion in May was postponed, according to its website.
Discussions for what they deemed “black-bodied staff” and “white-bodied staff” will take place in separate places. City staff will be provided a number of resources and a time to reflect on “how what they are learning related to their role in the City.”
Minneapolis will host speakers to talk to the city’s employees about how the institution of slavery has affected Minnesota. On August 20, an event will take place to commemorate the exact date the British brought over African slaves 400 years ago. Also, during this event city staff and community members will have a discussion on race.
The “Race and Equity” division of the Minneapolis city government staff will put on these talks.
This division thinks this commemoration provides the “city and all of its employees an opportunity to discuss and explore the enduring ramifications of this event.” Minneapolis thinks this type of work will give people an opportunity of African-American enslavement and make sure “slavery, disinvestment, and violence does not harm all people” within the city.
In 2017, Minneapolis added this division to its city government when it passed the City Coordinator – Race and Equity Division Ordinance.
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