Spring 2017 Minnesota Affiliate Update

NCFR Report, Spring 2017

On Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, the Minnesota Council on Family Relations (MNCFR) held its signature fall conference, “Strategies for Social, Economic, and Educational Change: Engaging Families and Communities for Racial Equity.” With this powerful and timely topic, participants were inspired and equipped to use these strategies in their work with families and communities.

The keynote presenter was Dr. Artika Tyner, Ed.D., MPP, JD, who serves as associate vice president for diversity and inclusion at the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, speaker, and advocate for justice. She shared nine strategies for advancing racial equity:

1. Be a leader who plants ideas, seeds of change, and a vision for justice.

2. Build a vision for restorative communities.

3. Embrace diversity as an asset.

4. Commit to end poverty.

5. Promote educational opportunities.

6. Disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

7. Address implicit bias.

8. Engage in policy reform.

9. Build kinship networks.

Following her keynote, Dr. Tyner facilitated a panel with three experienced professionals who shared their practical strategies for authentic engagement in community development, criminal justice, and education.

The afternoon offered nine breakout sessions featuring professionals working with racial justice in their fields.

It was a full and inspiring day, one that sent all attendees back equipped to better engage families and communities in this vitally important work.

MNCFR is already planning a Saturday-morning spring conference on April 22, 2017. Dr. Carol Breuss, director of family studies at the University of St. Thomas, will present “Healthy Conversations, Healing Communities: The Power of Reclaiming Face-To-Face Talk in a Digitally Saturated World.”

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