‘We know what the problem is’: Forum offers perspectives on racial disparities in Minnesota

By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost


If there was one message that Angela Glover Blackwell and several local leaders wanted to stress Wednesday at a forum on race and equity in the Twin Cities, it was this: The need “to get the equity agenda right.”

Speaking to more than 1,000 people at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Blackwell, a renowned social justice advocate, chronicled the era of legalized segregation in the United States, current challenges facing minority communities and barriers that prevent them from the traditional paths to economic prosperity.

“We’re at a different moment in this nation,” said Blackwell, founder and CEO ofPolicyLink. “The challenge has never been greater.”

The challenges she highlighted include the recent episodes of police violence as well as widening economic and education disparities — calling for state leaders and influential individuals to act quickly.

Blackwell noted that as the population of communities of color continue to increase at a much higher rate than that of their white counterparts, America will soon depend on minorities to sustain its economic security and world dominance.

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Ibrahim Hirsi reports on immigrant communities, social issues, marginalized groups and people who work on making a difference in the lives of others. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he interned for Newsday and has written for multiple publications in Minnesota.

Ibrahim Hirsi can be reached at ihirsi@minnpost.com.  Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.


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