Creating safe communities for all
Minnesota is famous for its healthy citizens, excellent education and robust economy. But the state has another, less virtuous quality: It harbors some of the nation’s largest gaps in wealth, education and juvenile justice between whites and communities of color. Facing Race We’re all in this together® is a multi-year campaign that seeks to uproot racial inequality by confronting racism within the state.
Facing Race is designed to fight racism at both the personal and institutional level. It works by facilitating conversations about racism and white privilege with individuals and organizations through the use of templates for constructive conversations that can be used by corporate communities, churches, universities and other institutions.
How Facing Race makes a difference
More than 6,000 people have participated in the New Conversations® series to spark discussion and personal exploration on a variety of issues related to racism. Consisting of video scenarios and group activities, these tools are available free of charge to anyone wishing to host and facilitate a private discussion about racism. Of the participants, 90 percent said they had meaningful conversations about race using the tool, and 50 percent reported an increased level of comfort in addressing the issue.
Facing Race has initiated research on the perceptions and experiences of those living in the Saint Paul area and actively collects articles and other useful resources that help illuminate historic and entrenched racism. With the Wilder Research Center, the initiative also created an online directory of anti-racism organizations and training programs in Minnesota. An annual Ambassador Award celebrates and honors individuals who confront racism in their communities.
The role of The Saint Paul Foundation
The Saint Paul Foundation launched Facing Race in 2004 to address racism in Saint Paul. In 2010, with generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the program expanded its work statewide.
"Having an opportunity to participate in New Conversations was one more step in reminding me to be sensitive to others—and it was another wonderful reminder about how important our relationships with each other are."
Ray Hunder, donor advisor of The Saint Paul Foundation