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Past Events

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Event Sponsor: Bremer Bank

Much appreciation to Colette Campbell, People & Culture Officer at Bremer for her share and for hosting our TCDEIR member meeting, along with Tiyo Symalla, DEI leader for her work in launching this event and DG Bergeron!


A heartfelt thank you to our keynote, Kao Kalia Yang for beautiful words, music, and deep inspiration that drew us together in our shared humanity.   Hmong American author Kao Kalia Yang read from her newest book, The Rock in My Throat and Where Rivers Part, and shared about the ways in which stories have opened up pathways for her journey to herself and others.


Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American teacher, speaker, and writer. Her work crosses audiences and genres. She is the award-winning author of the memoirs, The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, Somewhere in the Unknown World, and Where Rivers Part. Yang co-edited the groundbreaking book, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color. She is a librettist for the The Song Poet Opera (commissioned by the MN Opera). Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards.  Yang is McKnight, Soros, and Guggenheim fellow.


​ Thank you to our non-profit organizations that are collectively supporting this work in our community:   

  • International Institute of Minnesota

    • Michaela Schuneman, Senior Director of Refugee and Immigration Services

    • Zinzile Sibana, Marketing and Communication Coordinator 

  • Alight

    • Nasra Ismail, U.S. Enterprise Executive Director

    • Stacy Barnes, Director of Design and Innovation

  • Arrive Ministries

    • Abbey Lammers, Education Program Manager

    • Briana Williamson, Employment Program Manager

  • CAPI

    • Erin Clotfelter, Afghan Career Coach


Coffee Sponsor: Abagatos Cafe

Event Survey

Kalia’s Presentation

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Sponsor: Ryan Companies


Spatial Justice & Social Equity : People, Power and Place  An insightful fireside chat discussing the important topic of spatial justice and social equity. Our esteemed guest Paul Bauknight ( Founder/President, Center of Transformative Urban Design  as well as GGN Spatial Justice and Social Equity Fellow in Residence),  addressed questions about how space and place impact inequality, exclusion, and marginalization in our communities  whether internal spaces within our organizations or external spaces in the community Expect a thought-provoking dialogue on empowering people through spatial justice, equitable urban planning, and strengthening communities by uplifting diverse voices. This was a great opportunity to gain perspective on achieving greater fairness and justice through the lens of people, power, and place. This timely conversation was hosted during Construction Inclusion Week 


Spacial Justice Diagnostic and Template

Spacial Justice

Equity in the Built Environment


Sponsor: Reviving Roots Therapy and Wellness
Revival Roots Therapy and Wellness is a new business in the Twin Cities that is focusing on ensuring individuals in the Black community prioritize their mental health by offering an array of healing practices and culturally relevant approaches to contemporary challenges. TCDEIR partnered with this organization to bring awareness to the members about its services as a significant contributor in the DEI and Health Equity space. We see the organization as a key team that can assist you with your DEI and Health Equity strategy and impact health and well-being of the Black employees in your organization. 

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Sponsor: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

This was a significant meeting as this was the 1st time in our TCDEIR history that we dedicated time for us to learn more about Native American History from past to present.  We also learned more about effective ways to recruit and retain Native American talent.  
Ron Feldman (First VP) and Patience Ferguson (SVP) provided an overview of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis & DEI Areas of Focus.
Alene Tchourumoff (SVP, Community Development and Engagement) was the moderator for a discussion that included these impressive panelists:

  • Karen Diver President Native American Affairs at UMN

  • Jessie Seim General Counsel Prairie Island Indian Community

  • Dr. Joe Hobat, CEO and President of American Indian OIC

Event Recording

Meeting Notes


Meeting Resources:


  •  Joseph M Marshall III ("The Lakota Way")

  • Vine Deloria Jr ("Custer Died For Your Sins"; "God Is Red"; "Singing For A Spirit")

  • Vine Deloria Jr & Daniel R Wildcat ("Power and Place: Indian Education in America")

  • David Truer ("The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee")

  • Sandy Grande ("Red Pedagogy")

  • Black Elk & Gary Neihardt ("Black Elk Speaks")

  • Clyde Bellecourt & Jon Lurie ("The Thunder Before the Storm")


  •  Tommy Orange ("There There")

  • Louise Erdrich - ("The Night Watchman"; "The Roundhouse"; "LaRose"; "Chickadee")

  • Heid Erdrich ("Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community"; "Fishing for Myth: Poems by Heid E. Erdrich")

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Scholar Angela Tate, curator of Women's History at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, provided an in-depth background on the history and significance of Juneteenth, how celebrations differ across the Black diaspora, the holiday's recent reemergence and federal holiday designation, and how Juneteenth fits into the long civil rights movement.  This was a hybrid event with virtual and in-person attendees.  We had a happy hour onsite for those attending in-person.

Sponsor: Minnesota Humanities Center



As you are aware, we postponed our TCDEIR February meeting to support the work of the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity (MBCRE).  Over 80 companies are involved in this organization.   


It was heartening that roughly 500 of us gathered together to acknowledge the pain around the death of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man shot and killed by police last week. T Below are some resources you may find helpful to continue to leverage the tools Dr. Joi shared and to advance your allyship journey.
From Dr. Joi Lewis:
•    Hand Over Heart Meditation

•    Dr. Joi's Book & Swag Shop
•    Future Radical Self-Care Offering
Allyship Toolkit:
MBCRE is committed to ensuring allyship is a leadership capability developed for all coalition member employees to ensure Black Minnesotans feel engaged, a sense of belonging and trust, and inspired to fully contribute their best work. Access our Allyship toolkit here:
Public Safety 
AALF_United By Black_Public Safety Report.pdf
Niila Hebert, senior program director at the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), shared insights from the Public Safety Impact report and highlighted some community organizations that you can learn more about: 
•    Until We All Our Free (has a pre-release from prison handbook)
•    Man Up Club (podcast, mentoring) 
•    The Truce Center (conflict management) 
•    Minnesota Freedom Fund (legislative action, help if people can’t access bail) 
•    Mothers Against Community Gun Violence
For those seeking additional mental health resources:
•    MN Mental Health Practitioners of Color Database 


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Just a fun, in-person gathering outside under Surly's tent.  What a delightful event it was & so good to see familiar faces and meet new ones, too!

Thanks to Surly for sponsoring the venue and providing the beer!  Thanks to Land O'Lakes and Sue Plaster Consulting for the tasty appetizers! 

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A  special TCDIR member session to come together to support each other, share tools, resources, and best practices relating to the verdict from the Trial of former Officer Chauvin and the aftermath of the killing of Daunte Wright. 

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Organizations are becoming increasingly “Interfaith Curious” as executives grapple with the challenge of integrating faith into diversity programs and insuring inclusion for all employees. Join Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri Endowed Chair and Executive Director at Augsburg’s Interfaith Institute, and Joffrey Wilson, VP, Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Mortenson, for robust discussion and best practice sharing on the topic of religion and culture in the workplace.

Event Recording (password = TCDEIR)

Where Religion Fits into Your DEI Strategy

Event Presentation

Event Norms & Agenda

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Sponsor: University of Minnesota


We immensely appreciated our esteemed presenters including: Dr. Angela Spranger, Dean Dr. Jamie Prenkert, panelists Angel Uddin, Geida Cleveland, and Dr. Cori Bazemore-James & Professor John Budd  and Todd Williams who led us in further discussion on a new and required class in the Carlson School: Race, Power, & Justice. 

A few of the many key takeaways heard were…(see attached notes for additional information – this information is also found on our website: TCDEIR) 
•    Dr. Jamie Prekert: listening is not enough. It takes action. Exactly what brings us, all of us in this room and on the call as allies and supporters of this work. 
•    Dr. Angela Spranger, that Anti-DEI Legislation is happening. Although we are lucky in MN and not safe. Angela called on us to help our companies recognize the imperative of equity and excellence!! 
•    Panelists: Angel Uddin, Geida Cleveland, Dr. Cori Bazemore-James
o    SCOTUS continue recruiting and provide equitable education. The legal decision was on admissions.
o    DEI isn’t just about race and gender. It’s about intersectionality’s and that impact everyone. 
o    We have an opportunity to have conversations and build relationships with more people. If I alienate people, our voice won’t be heard.
o    SCOTUS continue recruiting and provide equitable education. The legal decision was on admissions.
o    DEI isn’t just about race and gender. Need to go back in pipeline in junior high. 
•    Dr. John Budd and Todd Williams shared details on the UMN course: Race, Power, Justice


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Sponsors: Bremer Bank & Securian Financial

Exhibit: RACE - Are We So Different?
Science Museum


We had the opportunity to examine our shared history and current reality. To understand the past, acknowledge harm, and joining the conversation are the first steps toward a fairer future.  See more details here  After the Exhibit we gathered for happy hour at Herbies on the Park.  


Event Handout

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Sponsor: Bremer Bank

Our members learned from attorneys about what demographic data can be shared, and hot topics related to affirmative action via member interaction & sharing best practices in small groups.

Bremer Welcome from Colette Campbell, Chief Talent Acquisition and Diversity Officer & TCDEIR Welcome from Dr. Tonya Jackman Hampton

Fireside chat, TCDEIR E-team -Shamayne Moderator discuss with Penny Phillips & Ryan Olson, Attorneys specializing in Employment Law & Affirmative Action, from the law firm of Felhaber Larson.   


Small groups to connected & discussed best practices related to data sharing. Facilitated by TCDEIR E-Team member – Patricia Izek 


We also hosted an optional listening session post session regarding 2023 TCDEIR Programming.

Meeting Notes

Labor Dept. Reluctant to Reveal Contractor Diversity Data

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Organizations and workplaces are encountering more and more team members who identify as transgender or nonbinary. Join national trainers and speakers Nick Alm and Ellie Krug as they break down the basics of gender identity, discuss challenges that trans and nonbinary people face in the workplace, and how employers can design supportive and welcoming workspaces. 

Sponsor: Sonos


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TCDIR brought Broadway straight into your living room with stars from Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen! We welcomed Broadway artists from New York City in an intimate conversation about wellness and the importance of mental health as they perform some of your favorite songs. 
Location:  Mn Humanities Center and Virtual on Zoom
-Welcome from the Mn Humanities Center and overview of Mission-Kevin Lindsey-CEO MN Humanities Center
-TCDIR Welcome
-Mental Health and Wellbeing Speaker
-Intro of Virtual Broadway 

-TCDIR closing
-Happy Hour
-Optional Zoom Networking session


Sponsors: Mn Humanities Center Site Host for meeting, drinks and appetizers.  Bremer, Greater MSP, Land O Lakes, and Black Girl Wanders.


Talent BIOS


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It was a powerful session amid another very heavy week.  With over 100 members in attendance, the program was facilitated from two phenomenal leaders in this space Ellie Krug Founder and president, Human Inspiration Works, LLC. and Dr. Keith A. Mayes, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Horace T. Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor.  One significant question that came up:  Ask yourself, is this about critical race theory or is this about something else? A couple callouts heard on the call are below and more details found in the attached notes and handout. 
•    Importance of understanding our history, gains made, and setbacks we are seeing now.
•    Review and understand the tenets of critical race theory – see in attached notes and the handout. 
•    So far 5 states this year that have prohibited CRT (a broad statement) to not allow this in our schools and universities – in Iowa that includes unconscious bias. It is only July.
•    Referenced twice, CRT critic: Christopher Rufo (My Pillow guy)  “What Critical Race Theory is Really About,” May 6, 2021– Understand how quickly they’ve organized and how quickly our power was taken away, taken this term.
•    Take action. Found below in notes and the handout. Remember John Lewis’s admonition: make “good trouble.” 

Thank you to our host Hennepin Healthcare where we heard a well-received welcome from  Dr. Tonya Jackman Hampton, TCDIR Executive Team Co-Lead and Chief People Culture Officer, Jennifer DeCubellis Hennepin HealthCare’s CEO, and Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Chief Health Equity Officer. Each of them reminded us to further our own education and learning on this topic.


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The Derek Chauvin Trial, police shooting involving Daunte Wright, and continued hate crimes again Asian Americans has brought forth a resounding call for social and racial justice. This meeting was hosted by the Minnesota State System Office of Equity and Inclusion. We heard from Dr. Clyde W. Pickett, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at University of Pittsburgh, Andriel Dees, Interim System Diversity Officer, Minnesota State and Dr. Devinder Malhotra, Chancellor, Minnesota State about how higher education has been meeting the call for racial equity and social justice and their recommendation of strategies for accelerating a DEI agenda. We also had a conversation with the Executive Director of the Coalition of Asian American leaders, Bo Thaube: Coalition of Asian American Leaders - CAAL Minnesota (

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Sponsor: Wells Fargo


Fostering a Recognition-Rich Culture with the R.A.P. Philosophy

Special thank you to our guest speaker Dr. Jermaine M. Davis. As you acknowledge that the DEI work can be rewarding and challenging.  Our DEI leaders needed a boost to complete the year and renew their spirits.  You did that with memorable and repeatable content.  Your sessions are high-impact-energetic and fun while significant learning happens.  There were so many great reminders, a couple favorites heard were the importance of self-care AND We CARE!  The powerful differences between Apathy-Sympathy-Empathy. 


A few of the many key takeaways heard were…(see attached notes for additional information)

  • TCDEIR Philomena: our org is now over 600 members! We are dues free.

  • Damu:  Value everyone’s voice. Belonging matters

  • Dr. Jermaine

    • Know your what (along with your why)

    • Create a recognition rich culture! a recognize, celebrate the effort and achievements! 

    • Never allow people to be invisible in your presence! See their humanity. 

    • 3 DEI Attitudes: apathy (don’t care), sympathy (no action), empathy 

    • Emotions affect motion!!!! People need to feel comfortable to move forward.

    • Practice RAP philosophy- keep on keeping on!

      • Recognize (you did great, also need to acknowledge) 

      • Acknowledge (I see what you are doing with specificity) 

      • Praise (the way the like it!) 

  • Attached has our Tabletop Discussions list (on page 3)

  • TCDEIR Kevin: Rewarding in small steps!


Meeting Notes

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Sponsors: Minnesota Humanities Center, Land O'Lakes, nVent, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts & North Memorial


For our 30th anniversary, TCDEIR was honored to have in-person film clips and a conversation with filmmaker Emily Branham!  Emily's film, BEING BEBE: THE BEBE ZAHARA BENET DOCUMENTARY (which she largely filmed in the Twin Cities!), is an award-winning documentary about a young man who immigrates to the US from Cameroon – a country where Queerness is criminalized – and eventually becomes the very first winner of now-iconic reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race.  TCDEIR members had the opportunity to screen the film virtually to make for a meaningful discussion.


At a moment of heightened anti-trans and anti-drag rhetoric in the U.S. and globally, BEING BEBE offers positive representation at the intersection of LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and immigrant lives – paralleling BeBe Zahara Benet’s fight to maintain the trajectory of his career alongside a deep connection with his traditional African roots and family. BeBe’s humor and persistence with relentlessly creating his own opportunities is inspiring, while also challenging stereotypes and prejudices related to diverse gender expression.

Meeting Notes

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Sponsor: Sonos

Keith Baker the Executive Director of Reconnect Rondo was our featured speaker.  Did you know that 80% of Saint Paul’s African American population once lived in the Rondo neighborhood? They enjoyed friendship, culture and pride in this mixed-income community with a flourishing middle class. Rondo was a bustling place where businesses prospered. A lively neighborhood where residents danced their steps, played their games and swayed to a rhythm all their own. People worshiped together. They fell in love. They raised families. They believed in the promise of a better tomorrow for their children. But that promise was severely threatened.

Rondo was devastated when I-94 ripped through the community. This vibrant neighborhood was shattered with the 1956-1968 construction of Interstate 94. 700 family homes were demolished. 300 businesses were closed or torn down. And to make matters even worse, inadequate compensation went to the families for their significant losses. The effects of the fateful decisions made decades ago, are still being felt today.

As we honor Black History Month we need to learn about our own History in the Twin Cities.  And the vision Reconnect Rondo has to become an admired national model for equitable development success, known for leading a restorative movement in Minnesota. We learned about the MISSION  to lead the effort to revitalize the Rondo community with a land bridge that reconnects Rondo and reignites a vibrant African American cultural enterprise district in Saint Paul.  Reconnect Rondo’s PLAN is to connect Minnesota leaders, equity organizations and the Rondo community to ensure a better, brighter and more equitable future. 


No Recording Available

Meeting Notes


This day-long conference offered a variety of topics and activities for our TCDEIR members.  Our keynote speaker was Chris Heeter from the Wild Institute on the topic of “Finding Your Way Back”.  Philomena Morrissey (from our host Land O’Lakes) talked about their initiatives in the DEI space.  Kristi Hemmer led a meditation moment in the form of “Box Breathing”.  Emily Drury moderated a panel on Learning & Development Best Practices with panelists from General Mills and Securian Financial.  Patricia Izek moderated a session with panelists receiving Twin City Business Magazine’s 2022 Notable DEI Leaders.  We had a World Café activity on a variety of DEI topics.  And Ellie Roscher ended the session as a speaker on her book “12 Tiny Things”.  Our group also did a backpack building session for the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center and throughout the day we had a vendor fair with nonprofits and businesses serving the BIPOC community.  Sponsors: Land O’Lakes, Great River Energy, Bremer Bank, McGough Construction, Sleep Number and Stanton Adams Diversity Institute (SADI).


Event Slideshow

Event Agenda with Notes


We heard from GREATER MSP and The Coven as they highlighted a new resource based on insights from people of color throughout the MSP region. The BE MSP Community Pulse is a two-part study designed to illuminate the gaps, successes and hopes of local organizations and employees of color regarding DEI efforts within their workplaces. We’re excited to share this resource for all organizations looking for insights on improving accountability in their racial equity and DEI commitments.  BE MSP Community Pulse.  We were also joined by Penny Phillips of the law firm Felhaber Larson who helped us make sense of the lessons learned during COVID.


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Some organizations are seeing the COVID-19 pandemic as a moment to amplify and expand their DEI efforts whereas other companies are struggling to find ways not lose ground. This Roundtable discussion will allowed us an opportunity to explore how each of us is charting a pathway forward in response to COVID-19.
Live Jazz from Jeff Perry
We heard from TCDIR Co-Lead Dr. Tonya Hampton and TCDIR Executive Committee members Todd Williams and Kevin Lindsey.  We engaged attendees in a roundtable discussion on moving DEI forward in the age of COVID-19.

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Thank you to our host: Bremer Bank. It was great to hear from Jeanne Crain, Bremer President and CEO and Colette Campbell, Bremer Chief Talent Acquisition and Diversity Officer in role modeling how banks can provide equitable solutions, play a critical part of building strong communities, and integrate inclusion into our everyday work.

This session was a fantastic opportunity to build closer connections and share best practices in 11 small groups of 4-5. These groups came up with solutions to some of our newest and most persistent problems ranging from getting more folks involved in DEI, how people are coming back to work, the vaccinated and non-vaccinated, and accountability options.  See the attached “Notes” and the “Topics and Solutions in chat” docs for additional information.

Meeting Notes

Topics & Solutions in Chat

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As a masterful storyteller and facilitator, Dr. Jermaine Davis shared principles and practices on how to facilitate healthy conversations up, down, and across your organization.

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