Racial Equity Work Moving Forward in the City of Minneapolis

Recently the Minneapolis City Council President expressed concern and anger over the attention that racial equity is getting. In particular, she felt that this focus is taking up too much time and may require more cumbersome reports. HIRE Minnesota’s experience is that data and reports are important, but are only meaningful when we use them to drive a change in practice.

Here’s one example of what that looks like. Last month we met with leadership from Minneapolis’ Public Works to discuss how to ensure that people of color have access to jobs in their department. The context? Knowing that 40 percent of their workers will retire in the coming years, potentially opening up hundreds of jobs to our communities.

Staff acknowledged that their minimal effort reaching out to communities of color has resulted in a minimal number of employees of color working for Public Works. They showed a willingness to change the way they do business – from seeking input from outside the city to creating new partnerships with recruitment and training organizations—to diversify their workforce. See Council member Elizabeth Glidden discuss this meeting with other city council members in this video:

Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden Civil Rights Committee Meeting

These conversations and commitments are the kind of change the city needs to move towards equity. We know that this work is far from over. But we’re excited to be part of processes creating real benefits for communities of color.