Voices for Racial Justice (VRJ) is a movement organization of leaders, organizers and culture workers who envision a world without racism honoring the culture, knowledge, power, and healing of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. We are committed to building power through collective cultural & healing strategies for racial justice across Minnesota using organizing, leadership training, community policy & research.
VRJ was founded in 1993 to strengthen the field of organizing in Minnesota. Today, we focus on nurturing an ecosystem of restorative racial justice movements. Our work is guided by a “soil tending” approach as a change-making strategy informed by local artist organizer Ricardo Levins Morales. We understand that by tending to the soil, which is our values, narratives, culture, and beliefs, we can build a sustained & life-giving approach to racial justice organizing.
Our Approach is rooted in:
Cultural & Healing Strategy: Generational trauma is a result of legacies of colonization and oppression. We have a wealth of cultural knowledge and healing practices that have and can resource communities facing these toxins. We develop strategies for our individual and collective well-being, and honor many traditions, world views, arts, and practices that exist in our communities.
Shared Learning: Through trainings, convenings, and network building, we offer the spaces for communities to build and exchange knowledge, prioritizing deep relationship building across BIPOC communities.
Storytelling: We shift the narrative about who our communities are by developing platforms for the exchange of many stories directing us towards a shared vision for racial justice.
Organizing: We share an ecological model of organizing where we all have a role to play in making impactful change within community and systems. We are committed to building power in ways that is restorative and sustainable for BIPOC communities.
Community Leadership: We center the knowledge and vision of BIPOC leaders closest to the issues, and support their growth and development as key in making long lasting change.
Research & Policy: We value all forms of knowledge and community driven solutions for racial justice that center the voices, cultures and visions of those closest to the issues.
Over the years, we have facilitated training cohorts, which in turn have created a network of hundreds of alumni across the state deeply engaged in community organizing for racial justice. Our policy tools–statewide racial equity agendas and report cards involving hundreds of people– have directly informed policy making and community solutions. Most recently we released our inaugural issue of the Quilt magazine, created in partnership with The UpTake, born of a deeply rooted community visioning process about the importance of expanding the role of storytelling in policy work. As we look towards the future, we are guided by a renewed commitment to stand with local BIPOC communities as we build power through restorative racial justice movement organizing across Minnesota.
Learn more about our work here