INSIGHTS FOR EQUITY
Un-Minnesotan (February 2016)
By Mary Bussman, Equity Alliance MN, Equity Consultant, Professional Learning and Program Evaluation
Did you see this full-page advertisement in the Minneapolis Star Tribune February 1, 2016? It was signed by Governor Dayton and several political, community, and business leaders. Here’s the link if you want to see it again.
The advertisement gets to the heart of what many of us ask ourselves: “What should we do when our neighbor, colleague, father, mother, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or friend says something that is simply prejudiced toward our Muslim Minnesotans?”
We ask ourselves: “How should we respond?” “Should we respond?” “Is it safe to respond?”
The advertisement suggests that our Minnesota values include “everyday, sleeve-worn courage, goodness and kindness” and that we must “lead people to a place of tolerance and understanding.”
These are strong values and a powerful goal. We don’t achieve our goals without attention and practice. It takes daily effort to look toward what makes us uncomfortable culturally, to practice our responses, to learn more through reading, training, listening to non-mainstream media outlets, etc.
We, as teachers, are leaders of the next generation of thinkers. How we apply our Minnesota values has to be a daily practice so that we can each be courageous on behalf of our co-Minnesotans.