Minneapolis Temporarily Cancels City Staff Segregated Race Talks


Minneapolis city officials have temporarily canceled segregated race-relations talks with city employees, and all fliers promoting the event around Minneapolis City Hall have been pulled down, according to the Star Tribune.

“Sacred Conversations with City Staff” was scheduled to take place in May, June and July. The first discussion was supposed to take place on May 30 but was postponed. These conversations centered around the 400-year anniversary of African slaves coming to Jamestown, Virginia.

“It came to my attention … that sessions had been promoted publicly in a way the city does not condone, as we cannot nor will we divide people based on race, ethnicity or any other protected class,” City Coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde (pictured above) wrote in a statement to the Star Tribune.

As the Minnesota Sun reported, these talks planned to segregate city staff into “black-bodied” and “white-bodied” staff to have a discussion about “how they relate to the enslavement, resistance and continual push for liberation for African American people.”

The talks were meant to allow city employees to reflect on “what they are learning related to their role in the City.”

Each month of these talks had a specific topic planned for these race discussions. May’s theme was “Remembering Who We Are,” June’s theme was “Recovering the Narratives of Oppression and Liberation” and July’s theme was “Re-imagining a Future without Harm.” On August 20, an event would have taken place to commemorate the exact date the British brought over the African slaves.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office issued a statement to the Star Tribune about the cancellation of the event.

“This was a staff-led project housed in the [city] coordinator’s office. The idea did not originate in our office or with the mayor.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News.
Photo “Minneapolis City Hall” by Tony Webster. CC BY 2.0, and “Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde” by Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde.




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