By Mo Perry
By Mo Perry
In the 1920s, more than 100 million acres of the United States high prairie land was stripped of its native Buffalo Grass so farmers could plant wheat. They churned up the topsoil and planted an ocean of monoculture to feed the hungry maw of a growing nation. For a while, the money poured in. Then the drought came, as droughts do.
In the 1930s, clouds of dust engulfed the plains. The grass that had held the earth in place was long gone. Dirt drifted across counties and states and regions, blackening the sky, killing livestock, choking them to death with dust. The storms kicked up such high levels of static electricity that when people shook hands, the shock could knock them to the ground. This went on for years.
Thousands were infected with dust pneumonia—the “brown plague”—which had symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People wore face masks and goggles to protect themselves. When supplies ran low, the Red Cross issued a call for 10,000 more masks, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Emergency hospital wards were opened in church basements; high school plays were canceled because the gym floors were covered in cots.
In 1934, a particularly strong storm reached the east coast, blowing 350 million tons of silt from the prairies to Chicago, Atlanta, and New York, assaulting the eyes and throats of city-dwellers. Some New Yorkers proposed paving the entirety of the plains, leaving small holes to plant seeds. Others had the idea of using the plains as a vast landfill, shipping rusted old cars from eastern cities to hold down the midwestern earth.
Instead, eventually, farmers were paid to leave their fields idle. They learned how to manage their land more sustainably. The federal government converted 10 million acres back to grassland. The grasses’ roots again did what they had always done—held moisture deep in the earth, intertwined, formed a scaffolding for the soil to cling to.
Now high winds are again tearing across the United States, agitating what’s been over-churned and overworked, left exposed, vulnerable, and raw. People are dying of pneumonia. There aren’t enough masks. We cannot reach out and shake hands.
I’m thinking about what it means to recover. To re-cover. To regain the topsoil that nourishes life, and the network of roots that hold it together below the surface. I’m thinking about the healing that’s only possible with idleness. I’m reaching for my neighbors, invisibly, underground, hoping we can form a stronger scaffold. Hoping we can anchor each other, revive the wisdom of connectedness, feel our way back to balance.
These are scary times — COVID-19 is a public health threat unlike any most of us have seen in our lifetimes. But we’ve been inspired by the community we’ve seen building, growing, supporting, and flourishing around us. We are a community. In times like these, when tensions are high, we believe that community is more important than ever. In an effort to keep us all connected, we are excited to announce our first zine: Quaranzine! This will be a resource of connection and love during times of social distancing and isolation. We’re accepting submissions from community members between now and 3/31 to share how you’re showing and receiving care and love right now. How are you caring for yourself, your partner, your community, and other folks in your life? Share your visual or written art with us. (This is not a paid opportunity, but we will have paid work available in the future.)
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC INCLUSION
The Center for Economic Inclusion is a cross-sector organization committed to strengthening the Minneapolis – St. Paul region’s civic infrastructure and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence market forces to catalyze shared prosperity and advance an inclusive economy.
We are dedicated to advancing inclusive growth by elevating data driven promising practices, advocating inclusive policies, coordinating cross-sector, community-driven development, and piloting strategies that truly close racial economic gaps.
HOW WE WORK
At the Center we take pride in bringing our values to life and “walking the talk.” We are a diverse team in many ways, and we believe our diversity of thought makes us stronger and our work more innovative and responsive to the communities we serve. We strive to maintain a collaborative work environment that also stimulates individual autonomy and accountability forperformance goals and excellence. We invest in great talent, and nurture it and we believe in the power of career pathways within the Center. We look for these values in the talented individuals who join our team and we strive to cultivate an environment that harnesses the collective power of these values, traits and the expertise that each team member brings in pursuit of our mission.
• High-performance & High-engagement
• Shared risk
• Nimble Action
• Adaptive learning
The Director of Inclusive Growth is a new role created to lead efforts to accelerate racial equity and regional inclusive economic growth through the development and implementation of systems change initiatives with local, regional and state government agencies. The Director will lead the Center’s strategies to create broad, measurable shared accountability among regional decision & policy makers. The Director will strive to equip leaders and agencies with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to increase racial equity, economic competitiveness and inclusion in land-use, economic development, and infrastructure policies and investments.
The Director will build a team of internal consultants and external subcontractors to deliver educational and technical support services to local, regional and state agencies. Our Inclusive Growth programs and services are delivered in the form of a.) Programs and Outreach b.) Campaigns, Advocacy and Lobbying and c.) Consulting Services
• With leadership from the Vice President, Partnerships & Programs, establish strategic impact priorities and develop actionable annual plans for regional inclusive growth
• Develop and lead the implementation of strategies that increase public sector leaders ability to increase racially equitable workforce development, business development, education, housing, investment and transportation results by linking data to individual and institutional action and facilitating shared accountability
• Lead a portfolio of earned revenue engagements with public sector clients generating measurable results, engagement, and year over year growth for the organization and the region
• Serve as a subject matter expert and thought leader on racial equity, inclusive growth, land use, economic development and workforce development including public speaking, writing, and collaborative public leadership Organizational Management and Coordination
• Engage and Supervise Inclusive Growth consultants (internal) and external subcontractors to fulfill inclusive growth and competitiveness contracts; racial equity evaluation and impact contracts; and workforce development and employer inclusivity contracts
• Develop and submit timely, substantive internal and external reports, including financial, operating and program reporting
• Support specific departments as needed through by partnering with Vice President and/or joining efforts on specific initiatives to ensure completion
• Lead, supervise and equip program and strategy team members and foster an environment that aligns with the Center’s values and performance imperatives
• Implement Center performance measurement process and develop goals, objectives and accountabilities with each member of the team
• Contribute to the creation and stewardship of organizational culture and ethos, both internally and externally. Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality External Impact and Relations
• Strengthen the capacity of local, regional and state-wide agencies to produce more racially equitable and economically inclusive results in workforce development, economic development and land use planning
• Establish, nurture, bridge and maintain relationships with multi-sector partners, funders, and policy makers who share our vision for the future across the region and the country; Ensure those relationships are mutually reinforcing and have depth throughout the organization
• Actively pursue opportunities for systems change through public policy, advocacy, influence, and education
• Strategically articulate and elevate opportunities for racially responsive, market informed, results oriented action
• Partner with the external affairs team to implement narrative change campaigns that foster a regional culture of inclusive growth
• Serve as representative of CEI as needed for events, partnerships, conferences, other external/ public engagements
QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE & COMPETENCIES
• Advanced experience institutionalizing racial equity in workforce development, economic development, transportation, housing, or a related field
• Bachelor’s degree
• Minimum of 6 years’ experience in working within complex organizations, experience in the public sector particularly valuable
• Demonstrated experience applying a results-based leadership or results-based accountability framework
• Strong knowledge of the Twin Cities’ legislative, public policy, and political environment is preferred
• Experience advancing systems change and dismantling systems of oppression
• Demonstrated experience working and facilitating collaboration across all sectors of economy, including experience with government, business, non-profits and foundations
• Solid team management and supervisory skills with the ability to build relationships with others, motivate and lead
• Understanding of and commitment to the mission of the Center for Economic Inclusion
• Demonstrated racial equity, inclusion and wealth building competencies
• Excellent project management skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work empathically and collaboratively with internal and a wide range of external stakeholders
• Highly organized; able to prioritize between and within multiple assignments
• Excellent ability to think strategically, analytically and creatively
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to manage both strategic and tactical responsibilities, complete complex tasks, and deliver on a timely basis
The Center for Economic Inclusion is an Equal Opportunity employer. We offer an inclusive, engaging, dynamic, and rewarding workplace; a competitive total compensation package; and an opportunity to contribute to one of the most meaningful issues of our regions’ future.
Compensation: The starting salary range for this position is $95,000-110,000 and is complemented by a full suite of benefits including health, dental, vision, life, STD, and LTD insurance; mobile phone, wellness and transportation benefits; paid time off and retirement savings match. A salary commensurate with experience will be offered to complement these to
the successful candidate’s experience.
To apply for this job, submit a cover letter, resume and 3 professional references to
firstname.lastname@example.org by April 2, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No calls please. Candidates whose profiles align with our need will be contacted by April 30, 2020.
Join the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing for a webinar on Wellbeing in a COVID-19 World.
Working from home? Home schooling? Trying to patch together a meal plan? We are all in this together. Bakken Center Director Mary Jo Kreitzer will be discussing ways to support your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you.
Learn more about the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at csh.umn.edu
12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
If you require captioning for this webinar, please contact Molly Buss to make arrangements (email@example.com).
Mar 30, 2020 12:30 PM (Central Time)
Job ID: 39711
Salary: $74,625 – $107,344/annually
As the Civil Rights Operations Manager, provide executive leadership, guidance and strategic planning services to the Office of Civil Rights and in the administration of the Minnesota Department Transportation (MnDOT) civil rights programs statewide. Assist the Office Director in coordinating and supervising work in the Office of Civil Rights; assume the duties of the Office Director in case of absence; coordinate with internal MnDOT offices regarding state and federal civil rights programs and construction program delivery; provide training to MnDOT districts and Central Office staff on state and federal civil rights programs in transportation; collaborate with MnDOT State Aid, local cities and counties on the administration of civil rights programs; and work with external stakeholder groups statewide to develop and implement program initiatives regarding MnDOT’s civil rights programs. The position also manages the agency’s civil rights compliance and enforcement activities, develops and reviews program initiatives, and directs the work of employees that administer civil rights programs.
Apply at the State of Minnesota Career site today!
Mo’s story is part of Pollen’s “Are You OK?” initiative, a collection of stories, art, and virtual gatherings that documents how our collective community is processing and healing during the this global health and financial crisis. Check the collection regularly to hear from our creative community as we keep up with the changes and challenges before us.
We ask that you support Mo Perry by donating to her Paypal account: paypal.me/MoMoPerry
Mo will put 50% of any support she receives toward Minnesota Freedom Fund, which works to end discriminatory cash bail practices and pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who can’t afford them.
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