Truth and Reconciliation

Implement solutions to specific harms that create and perpetuate racial disparities.

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History

In October, the City Council approved a resolution establishing a truth and reconciliation process for the City of Minneapolis. The ultimate objective of this process is to begin implementing specific solutions to specific harms that created and perpetuate racial disparities with a prioritized focus on healing with historically Black American descendants of slavery and American Indian/Indigenous communities. The resolution calls for the establishment of a working group that will explore the creation of the truth and reconciliation process and study the meaning of reconciliation, research different models of truth and reconciliation commissions, and understand the impact that such a process might have on the City of Minneapolis and its residents. Truth and reconciliation processes have taken place all over the world, including in South Africa after the end of Apartheid and in Sierra Leone after the end of an 11-year civil war.

Next steps

The City’s Division of Race & Equity will lead the enterprise-wide effort in collaboration with other City leaders to explore the formation of a truth and reconciliation process. Key work will include consulting with local and national truth and reconciliation experts, people skilled in conflict resolution and other stakeholders from the community. Additionally, the work will involve developing the organizational capacity and framework required for a City-led process and recommending an approach for establishing a truth and reconciliation commission. A report back on the proposed truth and reconciliation process and commission framework is due to the City Council in June 2021.

This latest action follows another resolution passed by the City Council in July declaring racism a public health emergency in the City of Minneapolis. City leaders committed to a series of action steps to dedicate more resources to racial equity work.

“Defining a more just future requires an honest and thorough understanding of our past, and that’s the process we’re undertaking,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “By refusing to ignore an often painful history, we commit ourselves to creating that future. I commend Council Vice President Jenkins for her leadership in carrying this important work forward.”

“We are in some very difficult and challenging times in our city and our nation,” said City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. “We must tell the truth and then begin to address that truth.”

Truth and reconciliation workgroup

To understand the impact that such a process might have on the City of Minneapolis and its residents, the resolution calls for the establishment of a working group that will explore the creation of the truth and reconciliation process. Comprised of City staff, those who have knowledge of reconciliation and healing processes, and community residents, this group will study the meaning of reconciliation and research different models of truth and reconciliation commissions. This workgroup is not a truth and reconciliation commission.

The truth and reconciliation workgroup will meet bi-weekly through the end of January and bring forth recommendations to the Policy & Government Oversight Committee in June 2021. Staff leadership for the truth and reconciliation workgroup is provided by the City’s Division of Race & Equity in collaboration with Council Vice President, Andrea Jenkins. Its confirmed members include:

      • C Terrence Anderson, director of community based research for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban & Regional Affairs (CURA).
      • Elder Atum Azzahir, CEO of the Cultural Wellness Center.
      • Dr. Kate Beane, Ph.D., Dakota historian, and a member of the Flandreau Santee Dakota tribal.
      • Dr. Rose Brewer, professor of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota.
      • Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches.
      • Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, program director for racial justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches.
      • LaJune Lange, Honorary Consul of South Africa in Minnesota and former Hennepin County District Court Judge.
      • Robert Lilligren, president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute.
      • Christine Diindiisi McCleave, CEO of The National Native American Boarding School Healing.
      • Rev. Shawn Moore of Living Spirit UMC.
      • Melissa Olson, director of partnerships and operations for MIGIZI Communications.
      • Melanie Plucinski, a policy analyst for Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
      • Sandra Richardson of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
      • Sharon Sayles-Belton, former Minneapolis mayor.
      • City of Minneapolis:
        • Mayor’s Office
        • City Council
        • Civil Rights Department
        • City Coordinator’s Office
        • City Attorney’s Office
        • City Clerk

Please direct questions to raceequity@minneapolismn.gov.

Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit
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Division of Race and Equity

City Coordinator's Office

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City Hall
350 S. 5th St, Room 302
Minneapolis, MN 55415