Becoming an anti-racist organization
It has been a little over a year since George Floyd was tragically murdered — and in that time, many organizations, including MINN, vowed to make systematic changes. In the spirit of transparency, we wanted to provide an update on steps we have taken and steps we would like to take or work towards moving forward. We fully recognize that this is just the beginning of the process, and one that will take time and constant, concerted effort.
Like many US-based organizations within the field of international development, MINN is represented by majority-white board members, consultants and volunteers. For MINN and the development sector as a whole, that is a problem that must be addressed. It is a problem we will continue to tackle, but one we have started to address at MINN over the past year.
Over the past year MINN formed an Anti-Racism Task Force to help recognize what the gaps are, provide solutions to help close those gaps, and work with the MINN Board, consultants and volunteers to implement them. This is an extension of the work MINN has been doing the last few years to prioritize diverse voices and amplify conversations on decolonizing development. The Task Force’s goal is to make MINN an anti-racist organization, which is inclusive of, but more than, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work.
Below are some actions that have been taken since the formation of the Task Force.
Commitment to Anti-Racism
Created a Commitment to Anti-Racism, which the 2021 MINN Board, consultants, and volunteers will sign. Each individual at MINN has a responsibility to practice anti-racism and this commitment is a first step in the process.
Collection & Discussion of Anti-Racism Resources
Compiled existing resources on anti-racism and/or diversity, equity and inclusion in international development. We will continue to expand this list as we discover additional resources.
The MINN Board reads and discusses an anti-racism article selected by the Task Force at each bi-monthly Board meeting. The small-group discussions are led by members of the Task Force.
Regularly share anti-racism resources with the MINN community through our external communications, including newsletters and social media.
Collection of Demographic Data
Identified gaps in demographic data collection across Board members, volunteers, members, organizations, and more. We aim to regularly collect the same data for all MINN components in order to accurately reflect and understand MINN’s diversity and gaps.
Amplifying Diverse Leadership
Promoting and uplifting the MINN Fellows Program, an integral part of MINN dedicated to amplifying diverse voices of young leaders in Minnesota's international development community. Next steps include better connecting MINN Fellows to leadership positions at MINN.
Many thanks for your continued support and going along this journey with us. As members and supporters, you too are an integral part of MINN and this process. Accordingly, we will be sharing a form for feedback on what resources you and/or your organization have seen and are using to start the process of transitioning your organization to an anti-racist one.
Finally, if you have other ideas on how MINN can better serve our whole community, we welcome you to share them with our Board Vice President Kyla at [email protected].