Principles for Racial and Cultural Equity

OAP has adopted these principles to guide our work in addressing racial disparities, whether in income, wealth, employment, health, education, or criminal justice.

Race matters in policy decisions
Seeking racial equity requires explicit consideration of how race intersects with all policy decisions.  Colorblindness does not result in race neutrality.  Being explicit about race does not exclude examining cultural, social, and economic inequities as well.  Instead, it opens the door to a richer analysis that seeks to understand the true impact of decisions.

Pay attention to outcomes
We must examine policies to understand their equity implications.  Disparate outcomes are not always visible on the surface.  Narrowing racial disparities in criminal justice, education, housing, and employment requires paying attention to all the factors that contribute to these gaps, from discriminatory practices to structural inequities in our institutions.

Protect full participation in public life
Minnesotans of color must have access to the public institutions that make Minnesota great, from voting rights to education to parks.  Culture, language, immigration status, and income should not limit participation.

Look to long-term solutions
Investing in education, public services, and community development will build opportunities for communities of color, but will also make our entire state stronger, now and for future generations.

Engage the voices of multiracial, multicultural communities
When our public institutions disregard the experience and history of different cultural and racial communities, this is an expression of institutional and structural racism. Communities of color should play an active part in the process of designing and implementing policies.


To learn more about how OAP is enacting these principles into action, read about our Initiatives.