Civic Engagement

Ability of our communities to work together for the long-term goal of building infrastructure and power for BIPOC community.

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Cultural Justice

In this section, we explore the right to practice and honor diverse worldviews and ways of being.

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Economic Justice

In this section, we share stories from lobbyists and community organizers who are advocating for the fair and just allocation of economic opportunities in communities of color and indigenous communities.

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Education Equity

In this section, we share stories about efforts to address gaps and create an education system that works for everyone with equity at the center.

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Ending Mass Incarceration

In this section, we share stories from people who are working through policy and community organizing to end racial disparities in Minnesota’s prisons.

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Environmental Justice

In this section, we share stories about black, brown, immigrant and indigenous communities working to develop and implement environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices that end environmental racism.

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Health and Healing

In this section we explore health equity within a larger frame of healing justice that considers the impact of institutional and generational pain and trauma in our communities alongside tools and strategies for resilience and healing.

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Immigrant Justice

In this section, we share stories from community members and organizers fighting for immigrant rights across the state.

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Reparations, Truth, and Reconciliation

In this section, we explore the deeper work in solidarity that needs to happen to cultivate trust and understanding across multicultural and multiethnic communities working for reparative justice.

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Beloved Community,

Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Quilt: Policy, Art, and Healing. In this magazine we explore the ways in which we incorporate art and healing in our policy discussions. Our intent has been to engage our community in a deeper policy discussion, while also creating and sharing a policy tool that is culturally- and community-rooted. The Quilt is published by Voices for Racial Justice and The UpTake. Voices for Racial Justice is a movement organization led by people of color that envisions a world without racism honoring the culture, knowledge, power, and healing of black, brown, immigrant and indigenous communities. We are committed to building collective cultural strategies for racial justice through organizing, training, community policy and research. Our work is guided by a soil tending approach which we borrow from friend, artist, organizer, and elder Ricardo Levins Morales that recognizes the importance of caring for the soil of our organizing and movement work in order for our seeds to grow and flourish. We see soil tending as an invitation to take responsibility for the culture we live in and create practices, strategies, and spaces in alignment with our vision for the future.

The UpTake is a woman of color-led community-centered nonprofit news organization, founded in 2007. In our earliest years, we were a citizen journalism organization known for our livestream coverage of the Minnesota Legislature; electoral campaigns and recounts; and community mobilization efforts. Today, we are a community journalism organization that centers a deep and continuous analysis of social issues. We believe in collaboration and a multitude of tools, including livestream, to report on the issues pertinent to historically marginalized communities. We see our future as two-fold: the formation of a cooperative newsroom, and the creation of a community journalism school. The UpTake applies a systems change approach in our reporting, as we strive to equip community members with the tools to maneuver and report on the world and social movements using a methodology that attempts to re-imagine and re-distribute power as an organization, with journalists, and as system actors, in an act of journalistic imagination. The Quilt came about after many months of discussion and mutual imagining. As people of color of different diasporas, we had rich conversations about each of our communities’ relationships to policy.

Through this we found ourselves sharing stories about local governance models in our various communities, and the lineages of organizing and storytelling embedded in our different cultures. Out of this process emerged this question: what does it mean to center art and healing as we talk about policy? We combined Voices’ background in creating policy tools, agendas, and report cards, with The UpTake’s tools & editorial knowledge, and a Journalism of Color methodology, developed by staff at The UpTake with guidance and mentorship from Voices’ staff.

We believe that it is not wrong for policy to incorporate healing, love, hope, beauty, and art. We believe that it is not wrong for policy to look and feel like us. We believe that it is not wrong for the Capitol to look like and feel like us. And we hope that The Quilt feels similar.

Our hope is for this magazine to be a bridge that connects policy, art, and healing, to a larger conversation about community transformation. At the same time, we have imagined a future for The Quilt. The UpTake plans on creating a year of reporting based on The Quilt, and we have imagined new ways of moving our partnerships forward, with, through, and led by our communities.

With gratitude,

the Editorial Team
Gabriella Anaïs Deal-Márquez,
Brett Grant, Fayise Abrahim, and
Cirien Saadeh

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: Panel at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College

8 months ago This panel was a powerful conversation led by Indigenous women in Minnesota to raise awareness around the resilience of their communities and to seek solutions to the prevalence and impactWATCH

A Personal Story About #ReleaseMN8

9 months ago

Ched Nin and Jenny Srey share their story about undergoing and fighting deportation proceedings and the organizing that emerged through the Release MN 8 efforts.LISTEN

Equal Access to Medical Interpreters

9 months ago

Rosa Tock from the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, and Anjuli Mishra Cameron from the Minnesota Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, discuss the importance of immigrant and refugee communities havingLISTEN

Quilting As Cultural Justice

9 months ago

Douglas Ewart -composer, musician, retried professor- talks about the history of quilting, connecting it to cultural justice.LISTEN

A Historical Perspective on Reparations

9 months ago

Douglas Ewart-composer, musician, retried professor- shares his reflections on reparationsLISTEN

Data Disaggregation

10 months ago

KaYing Yang of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders(CAAL) talks about the importance of Data Disaggregation in making the needs of youth of color more visible within theLISTEN

Unemployment Insurance

10 months ago

Jessica Webster of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid talks about the importance of unemployment insurance as a racial and economic justice issueLISTEN

Anti-Gentrification Efforts

1 year ago

Owen Duckworth of the Alliance, talks about  anti-gentrification and anti-displacement organizing efforts in the Twin Cities metro areaLISTEN