Why Racial Equity?

In 2006, OAP expanded and deepened its mission to more effectively advance racial, as well as economic and social justice.  This evolution emerged from four primary observations about the urgency of creating an equitable vision for Minnesota.

  • Minnesota is changing.  By 2030, one-quarter of Minnesota’s population will be people of color, up from 9 percent in 2000 and 14.9 percent in 2010.  That population growth will not center in the urban areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but in the suburbs and in Greater Minnesota.
  • There are stark disparities between white Minnesotans and Minnesotans of color in every area of life.  Black Minnesotans face the highest unemployment rate in the country.  Our academic achievement gap between white students and students of color is among the highest in the nation. 
  • These disparities are rooted in systemic barriers to equity that severely limit access to opportunities for communities of color.  Those disparities, and our collective failure to address them, undermine our ability to come together and live our shared Minnesota values of equity, justice, and opportunity for all.
  • This failure to act is destructive to communities of color, but also prevents all Minnesotans from realizing our economic, educational, and community strength.

To learn more about what OAP is doing to address these disparities and make racial justice part of all policy conversations, see our Initiatives.