Cultivating Seeds of Hope in Beloved Community

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6/10/21

Minneapolis College is committed to supporting the success of our community though justice, change, equity and hope. With its core belief in the transformative power of education, the College infuses the spirit of cultivating seeds of growth, engaging students, faculty, staff and the community to create platforms for voices to be both heard and amplified in order to impact positive change.  

According to Charles Watson, Coordinator of the African American Education Empowerment Program, Minneapolis College is staying engaged in important conversations, knowing the leaders of tomorrow are present today both inside and outside of the institution.

“Minneapolis College starts and ends within our beloved community,” said Watson, who believes the vision of racial equality within the College will invigorate activism within the community.

Watson's reflection on the meaning of justice, equity, change and hope follows:

  • Justice: equal protection and fairness under the law; equality of standing, access and opportunity.
  • Equity: unequal outcomes are real and these disparities of life are based on bad policies, not bad people or groups. Systems must be dismantled and reimagined to promote equitable outcomes.
  • Change: movement; improvement; progress; performance inspired confidence; experiencing a shift (firsthand) encouraging belief that effort, time and togetherness make a difference.
  • Hope: how can we move forward without it? Evidence of things unseen.
  • Visit the Community Unity Gathering Reflective Exercise Guide webpage.

Watson describes the shape of the heart as a perfect illustration of the theme of amplifying beloved community. “The shape signifies the College’s commitment to its anti-racist journey. Within the shape of the heart, there is always room for welcoming more people,” said Watson, who reflected on a Unity Gathering held in early May where 40 people affirmed their commitment to equity and inclusion, standing in the shape of a heart.  

Minneapolis College is committed to creating venues for underrepresented voices; undergoing anti-bias training and self-reflection; ensuring our measures of success are, in part, crafted by those we serve; providing multicultural services and approaches, seeking parity in outcomes; improving intercultural capacity; centering process improvement on the student experience and, undergoing rigorous efforts to dismantle institutional practices with deleterious racial impacts; and, ensuring equity in all aspects of employment.

The strength of our community, like the undeniable greatness of an afghan, rests not upon any one thread but resides in the close-knit weave of innumerable strands tied together for a common purpose,” said Watson. “Moreover, the tapestry of our campus diversity—a collective woven together in struggle for justice, change, equity and hope—produces a life-changing bridge (between the theoretical and the practical) which serves as a trustworthy anchor of safe-haven during these unsteady times.”

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