Racial Equity Work

Racial Equity Statement

The work that we do in this office is impacted by a variety of factors and compounded by race. Understanding (learning/reflection) and disrupting (action) systemic inequities is integral to effective community-university partnerships. We want to make sure that our work clearly reflects our values of racial equity. We are committed to centering racial equity in community-engaged work to realize more equitable communities. We believe that racial equity is everyone's responsibility and we can all play a role in advancing racial equity. You don't have to be an expert; we want to "lower the bar and raise the stakes." 

CCEL recognizes that we are all engaged in lifelong processes of learning and growth. We strive to be a place of growth and not shaming. We acknowledge that everyone is in different places and spaces when it comes to racial equity. Taking action can be reading a book to learn more about racial equity, having dialogue to challenge you to think deeper about your experiences and perceptions of race, supporting POCI owned businesses, or revising policies and procedures to be more inclusive. 

Statement about death of George Floyd and Zoom Community Gathering on June 3rd

Staff members in the Center for Community-Engaged Learning share our sorrow, our grief, our pain, and our anger, with family, friends, coworkers and the broader Minneapolis community mourning over the death of George Floyd at the hands of four members of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on Monday, May 25th. Police brutality against all people, but especially black men, cannot be allowed to continue. One death of a person who is taken unnecessarily from their loved ones, at the hands of police exerting excessive force, is one death too many. The Twin Cities, Minnesota and this nation has experienced too many senseless acts of violence. We appreciate Governor Tim Walz, Mayor Jacob Frey, and MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo's calls for a full and thorough investigation into Floyd's tragic death and hope for an expedient investigation which results in charging the former officers.

No one should be fearful of the people who are supposed to serve and protect them. Tragedies like this and those preceding it can be prevented, and we ask Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo to require all police officers to participate in substantial and ongoing white privilege, anti-racism and empathy training to change the culture of the MPD. To add your voice to the calls to arrest and charge the fired officers involved, please contact Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at citizeninfo@hennepin.us or 612-348-2146 and/or Go to JusticeForBigFloyd.comand fill out the PETITION to be delivered to Freeman.

We also appreciate President Joan Gabel's systemwide statement on May 27th limiting the University's relationship with the MPD moving forward. We make this statement in accordance with our office's racial equity commitment and in light of our more than three decades of work to connect University students to the greater Twin Cities area through community and civic engagement opportunities to contribute in positive ways working in partnership with our communities. For ways to get involved in the Justice for George Floyd movement, please see our community partner Take Action's blog and our long-standing partner Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).

Join us for a Zoom gathering:
If you would like the opportunity to process the tragic loss of George Floyd and the destruction of our communities over the past days, we invite you to join us in an informal gathering on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at Noon (CST). This will be a time to process what has happened, share feelings of grief and outrage, discuss ways to support justice for George Floyd, and begin work to rebuild our communities. All are welcome to attend. Please register here so we have an anticipated attendance number and can send you the link and password for the Zoom gathering.

Land Acknowledegement Statement

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning acknowledges that the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities occupies lands included in 1805, 1837, and 1851 treaties between the United States government and the sovereign Dakota nation. Due to the U.S. government's failure to uphold any of these treaties, these lands still rightfully and legally belong to the Dakota people. The Dakota are the only people indigenous to this place, and they have maintained a spiritual connection to and physical presence in it throughout history to the present day as part of the Twin Cities' large and vibrant Native American community.

Land Acknowledgment Purpose
We have two main reasons for making this statement. First, as members of a scholarly community dedicated to furthering knowledge, we recognize an obligation to know the history of our own institution, and of the geographical area in which we are situated. Second, as practitioners and advocates of community engagement, we see the events of the past continuing to play out today in the vast racial inequities plaguing our state in every issue our work addresses - housing, health, education, environmental quality, and more. Knowing Minnesota's colonial history can help deepen our understanding of systemic racism and historical trauma as root causes of current social realities, enabling us to more effectively work for greater equity.