What Happens When Employers Come Together in Anti-Racist Learning and Action
30 September 2022
By Tiffany Wilson-Worsley, Director of Employer Learning and Engagement, Center for Economic Inclusion
The 2020 murder of George Floyd and consequential uprisings that followed both locally and nationally, illuminated the disparate state of Blacks and people of color in Minnesota and across the nation. Dubbed the “Minnesota Paradox” by University of Minnesota Professor Samuel Myers Jr., Ph.D. the phrase referenced Minnesota’s status as one of the best places to live for whites while simultaneously being one of the worst places to live if you are black. Data supported that the paradox was a national phenomenon. Subsequently, across the nation, companies made public commitments to racial justice which provoked policy makers, government and business leaders to commit to change in different ways. At the Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI), we advocated for more than verbal and philanthropic commitments. CEI called on public and private sector leaders to commit to creating and accelerating regional and organizational antiracist policies and practices which in Minnesota led to the formation of the Anti-Racist Economic Justice Trust (The Trust).
The Trust is designed to align, accelerate, and aggregate anti-racist corporate and government actions, investments, and commitments to building a racially equitable, inclusive, and economically just region and economy in Minnesota. Corporate and government leaders committed to the following actions to accelerate outcomes that CEI invites others to consider:
- Reimagine and reform corporate actions and government policies and investments.
- Engage in peer learning and action labs to support change efforts.
- Develop and lead aggregate goal setting in monitoring.
- Shared accountability to dismantling systemic racism and ultimately closing the racial wealth gaps.
To date, The Trust members have: designed a results statement to align anti-racist collective commitment, identified targeted populations and measures and analyzed hot roots (core issues that have contributed to current inequities). Currently, members are engaged in peer action and learning labs to help equip them to lead anti-racist actions within their organizations and our region. CEI will offer similar employer learning cohorts in 2023, so stay tuned for more information on this opportunity. In the meantime, be sure to check out CEI’s resources and tools for building racially inclusive workplaces.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul will not heal until we address racism. We must address racism by becoming and leading anti-racist actions across all policies and practices in business, government, and policies. By engaging in this work, we can achieve CEI’s mission of a prosperous Minnesota where race is no longer a factor to accessing economic opportunities and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people in Minnesota fully experience a racially just, equitable and inclusive economy.
About the Center for Economic Inclusion
The Center for Economic Inclusion is committed to closing racial employment, income, and wealth gaps, and building racially inclusive and equitable regional economies. Founded in 2017, the Center is the nation’s first Black woman-owned and led organization dedicated exclusively to strengthening public- and private-sector civic infrastructures and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence market forces while advancing an inclusive economy. Through the Center’s Employer Inclusivity and Inclusive Growth Consulting Services, the Center partners with employers, like Ramsey County, who also seek to increase competitiveness and profitability by centering racial equity, inclusion, and belonging. Click here to learn more.