Voices for Racial Justice

Community Policy & Research

Vision Statement:

We envision a world without racism that honors the wisdom, knowledge, power and healing of Community Based Participatory Action Research and Policy

Policy and Research Strategy:

Our policy and research strategy consists of creating and using legislative advocacy, community based research and analysis as organizing tools. We work in collaboration with community organizers, activists, healers, artists, and multiracial coalitions, to advance racial justice in Minnesota.

Policy and Research Tools:

Three main tools inform our policy and research strategy: (1) The Racial Equity Impact Assessment, (2) The Quilt: Policy, Art, Healing, and (3) Principles for Authentic Community Engagement. A brief explanation of each tool is provided below:


1)The Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) helps legislators and communities make racially equitable policy decisions by asking key questions before adopting and implementing new policies. Applying this assessment to any policy effort, even if it appears race neutral, is a way to ensure that racial disparities are not exacerbated and that racial equity finally becomes  a core institutional goal. The Racial Equity Impact Assessment prioritizes community engagement throughout policy design and implementation to understand how proposed policies affect communities of color and indigenous communities. Find the Racial Equity Impact Assessment here. Find the Racial Equity Impact Assessment video  here.

2)The Quilt: Policy, Art, Healing is a collaboration between the UpTake and Voices for Racial Justice. The Quilt is a multimedia tool that consists of a print and online magazine, a website, and a podcast.The Quilt is a bridge that connects policy, art, and healing, to a larger conversation about community transformation. Our intent is to engage our communities in deeper policy conversations while also creating and sharing a policy tool that is culturally informed and rooted in our communities. Find The Quilt: Policy, Art, Healing online magazine here. Find The Quilt: Policy, Art, Healing website here.

3) Principles for Authentic Community Engagement is a tool that centers the intentional process of co-creating solutions to racial inequities in partnership with communities of color and indigenous communities. Authentic community engagement is grounded in building relationships based on mutual respect and the acknowledgement of each person’s humanity. Find Principles for Authentic Community Engagement here


Policy and Research  Values:

Our policy and research values  advance a collective vision of racial justice that aims to support every person, every plant, and every community in our state. These values  seek to transform us, the state, and the ways we think about and practice racial equity:

Democracy: We value strategies that create energy around civic engagement for a participatory democracy movement in Minnesota. We  support the belief in ordinary people to shape a political system that embraces liberty and equity.

Economic Justice: How can we approach the conversation of wealth through culture and healing? What do we mean by wealth and what does it mean to build wealth? How have our ancestors built wealth? What does it mean to build wealth in ways that are aligned with our values? How do we apply a race and class lens to building wealth? How do we talk about money in ways that are transformational and not transactional?

Education Equity: Our vision of education recognizes the power of parents and youth to shape the future of our education system in transformative ways. Our approach is rooted in both organizing in collaboration with youth and parents through coalitions and elevating the leadership of parents through our organizing training cohort.

Ending Mass Incarceration/Criminal Justice: We work in collaboration with people who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, and their families through our many cohorts to abolish mass incarceration and transform our communities.

Environmental Justice: We support the work of Black, Brown, Immigrant and Indigenous communities to develop and implement environmental laws, regulations, policies, and practices that end environmental racism.

Health, Wellbeing & Healing: Racism has created a public health crisis. We advance health equity within a larger frame of healing justice that considers the impact of structural and generational racism, pain, and trauma in our communities.

Housing Justice: We support  all BIPOC communities in having equitable, safe, and high quality housing .

Human Rights: We value the basic rights and freedoms that belong to  BIPOC  communities from life to death. These basic rights are based on shared values  like dignity, fairness, equity, equality, respect and interdependence. We strive to restore recognition of our full humanity in every aspect of our sacred lives 

Immigrant Justice: We work in collaboration and solidarity with immigrant communities to advance policy solutions that acknowledge and recognize the full humanity of immigrants across Minnesota.

Reparations, Truth, and Reconciliation: We work in solidarity with Black, Indigenous and communities of color to  cultivate trust and understanding across our multicultural and multiethnic communities.

Tribal Sovereignty: We work in solidarity with Indigenous and Tribal nations in Minnesota to protect the inherent rights of American Indian Tribes to govern themselves and their lands, to define their own membership, and to regulate Tribal commerce and other domestic relations.