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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.
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).
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.
Our hope is to have some fun, make new connections and take some time for self-care! Event Sponsors: Surly, Land O'Lakes & Sue Plaster Consulting, LLC
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
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
TCDIR is brought Broadway straight into your living room with stars from Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen! Broadway artists from New York City shared in an intimate conversation about wellness and the importance of mental health as they performed some of our favorite songs.
SPONSORS Minnestoa Humanities Center, Bremer, Greater MSP, Land O Lakes, and Black Girl Wanders.
By now, most DE&I professionals and HR managers are aware of the growing controversy and criticisms of DE&I trainings involving skin color and structural racism. Critics have attacked and sought to suppress this work under the label of "Critical Race Theory." We welcomed facilitators Ellie Krug Founder and president, Human Inspiration Works, LLC. and Dr. Keith Keith A. Mayes, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Horace T. Morse-Alumni Ellie Krug, for a special TCDIR session on the current state of DE&I suppression/Critical Race Theory and engage as we discuss positive strategies for countering that suppression. This is an incredibly important discussion for the time we're all living in!
A big thank you to our sponsors: Hennepin Healthcare with special welcome from Jennifer DeCubellis Hennepin HealthCare’s CEO, Dr. Nneka Sederstrone, Chief Health Equity Officer, and Dr. Tonya Jackman Hampton, Chief People Culture Officer and TCDIR E-Team Co-Lead.
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 (caalmn.org).
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.
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.
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.
Event Host: Land O’Lakes
Through consistent TCDIR member feedback, for this meeting we came together to listen, learn, and laugh as we shared DEI best practices. It was a great time to build community, connect, and come away with takeaways to apply right away.