By Fayise Abrahim, Organizing & Training Director
In 2017 Voices for Racial Justice brought our organizing cohort model to Worthington, MN. In the last year we’ve seen those in our training strive to build together by hosting community gatherings, actions, dialogues, healing spaces and much more. Our place based circles are intentionally intergenerational, cross-cultural, and build in collaboration with the expertise of local elders and guest facilitators. We will be highlighting the work of our circles in upcoming blog posts. Three of our 10 circle members in Worthington, MN were featured on Humans of Worthington, a project started by a young Latina immigrant photographer and current student aspiring to connect her love for social media platforms with finding more representation of folks in her community. Andrea Magana captures photos of folks local to her hometown and their stories which she then shares on Instagram.
Andrea was part of the initial efforts amongst youth in Worthington who were pushing their community to address the need for social justice. Years ago Andrea made visits to Voices for Racial Justice office as part of the Be the Change leadership group of youth. The work of youth in Worthington deeply influenced and impacted Voices’ work in rural Minnesota as we began to bring our trainings outside of the metro, which over time led to a circle model for training in rural Minnesota.
In her own words Andrea shares with us, “Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races…it’s knowing that my younger siblings won’t be discriminated against, limited, or discouraged because of the color of their skin…racial justice is knowing that I don’t need to prove myself in the academic or employment arena because I speak a second language or because my skin isn’t white… Racial justice is knowing that I’m not a token friend or token employee… It’s imperative that we strive to have racial justice.”
We are grateful for young folks like Andrea whose work and vision have continued to shape the ongoing racial justice work happening in Worthington. We lift up her project to highlight the power of youth re-claiming the stories of their people as a way of building community. Andrea shares, “It’s amazing to spotlight the people who don’t usually get the recognition they deserve…Worthington is a place that I will always come back to because my family is there and because my community is there.” We are sharing three photos courtesy of Andrea, featuring three members of our 2017-2018 Worthington Voices for Racial Justice Circle. Find her project on Instagram @humans_of_worthington.