In June of 2020, the Tangletown Neighborhood Association established an Equity Task Force charged with responding to the racial inequities in Tangletown and our broader city along with developing ways we can support neighborhoods affected by the civic unrest following George Floyd’s murder. The Equity Task Force developed a vision, values, and strategies document which can be reviewed here. In 2021, the board formalized the importance of this work by creating a permanent Equity Committee. That committee continues their work with a focus on education, advocacy, and partnerships. Email info@tangletown.org if you are interested in joining the committee.

Equity Resources and Past Events:

Racial Equity and Anti Racist Educational Resources

Each month an Equity Committee Member shares an equity resource in our Enewslettter (sign up to get the newsletter here). For this month’s equity resource, Equity Committee Member Andrea Siegel recommends, Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers.

“The book explores the connection between climate change, racism, and rising injustices like increased poverty and environmental inequities. Specifically, she has highlighted and brought national, if not world-wide, attention to the extraordinary poverty that persists in rural communities across the richest country on Earth, the United States. 

In this memoir, Flowers shares her personal journey to becoming an environmental justice advocate for her community of Lowdnes County, Alabama, which is home to many historic moments in the US Civil Rights Movement including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery March. She focuses on raising awareness of how climate change and bad policy only deepen the cycle of poverty and inequity. She demonstrates how rising temperatures, greater rainfall, unjust policies, and a lack of investment in infrastructure by the government, combine to send raw sewage into homes and yards spreading infections from parasites, like hookworm, that were once thought eradicated. 

Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret is a concrete and eye-opening way to tell the story of environmental injustice. It is shocking to hear the stories Flowers tells of families living without even basic sewage and sanitation–a problem we often associate with developing and/or less wealthy countries–infrastructure that many of us take for granted. Her book gives a personal look at a life dedicated to fighting environmental racism and injustice, what it takes to sustain that fight and bring others to the table to fight with you.”

We understand that people may have done some exploring of their own and this resource list is far from exhaustive. If you want to share a great resource with the Tangletown community, feel free to send it to info@tangletown.org for inclusion.

Equity Questions

In January of 2021, the Tangletown Neighborhood Association board approved three equity questions to be considered in their decision making. These questions were adopted from the GARE Racial Equity Toolkit and seek to operationalize equity throughout our work as an organization.

Mapping Prejudice Virtual Workshop hosted January 13, 2021 Recording Available

Structural barriers stopped many people who were not white from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century. In Minneapolis, these restrictions served as powerful obstacles for people of color seeking safe and affordable housing. They also limited access to community resources like parks and schools. Racial covenants dovetailed with redlining and predatory lending practices to depress homeownership rates for African Americans. Contemporary white residents of Minneapolis like to think their city never had formal segregation. But racial covenants did the work of Jim Crow in northern cities like Minneapolis. Mapping Prejudice is an initiative created to shed new light on these historic practices in the Twin Cities. We cannot address the inequities of the present without an understanding of the past.

You can view our conversation with Director of Mapping Prejudice and Tangletown resident Kirsten Delegard as she narrates this history and describes the innovative methodologies used in Mapping Prejudice’s work on our Facebook page here. Together we explored the question of next steps to address the damage wrought by these policies.