Civic Engagement

Ability of our communities to work together for the long-term goal of building infrastructure and power for BIPOC community.

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Cultural Justice

In this section, we explore the right to practice and honor diverse worldviews and ways of being.

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Economic Justice

In this section, we share stories from lobbyists and community organizers who are advocating for the fair and just allocation of economic opportunities in communities of color and indigenous communities.

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Education Equity

In this section, we share stories about efforts to address gaps and create an education system that works for everyone with equity at the center.

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Ending Mass Incarceration

In this section, we share stories from people who are working through policy and community organizing to end racial disparities in Minnesota’s prisons.

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Environmental Justice

In this section, we share stories about black, brown, immigrant and indigenous communities working to develop and implement environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices that end environmental racism.

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Health and Healing

In this section we explore health equity within a larger frame of healing justice that considers the impact of institutional and generational pain and trauma in our communities alongside tools and strategies for resilience and healing.

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Immigrant Justice

In this section, we share stories from community members and organizers fighting for immigrant rights across the state.

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Reparations, Truth, and Reconciliation

In this section, we explore the deeper work in solidarity that needs to happen to cultivate trust and understanding across multicultural and multiethnic communities working for reparative justice.

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Beloved Community,

Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Quilt: Policy, Art, and Healing. In this magazine we explore the ways in which we incorporate art and healing in our policy discussions. Our intent has been to engage our community in a deeper policy discussion, while also creating and sharing a policy tool that is culturally- and community-rooted. The Quilt is published by Voices for Racial Justice and The UpTake. Voices for Racial Justice is a movement organization led by people of color that envisions a world without racism honoring the culture, knowledge, power, and healing of black, brown, immigrant and indigenous communities. We are committed to building collective cultural strategies for racial justice through organizing, training, community policy and research. Our work is guided by a soil tending approach which we borrow from friend, artist, organizer, and elder Ricardo Levins Morales that recognizes the importance of caring for the soil of our organizing and movement work in order for our seeds to grow and flourish. We see soil tending as an invitation to take responsibility for the culture we live in and create practices, strategies, and spaces in alignment with our vision for the future.

The UpTake is a woman of color-led community-centered nonprofit news organization, founded in 2007. In our earliest years, we were a citizen journalism organization known for our livestream coverage of the Minnesota Legislature; electoral campaigns and recounts; and community mobilization efforts. Today, we are a community journalism organization that centers a deep and continuous analysis of social issues. We believe in collaboration and a multitude of tools, including livestream, to report on the issues pertinent to historically marginalized communities. We see our future as two-fold: the formation of a cooperative newsroom, and the creation of a community journalism school. The UpTake applies a systems change approach in our reporting, as we strive to equip community members with the tools to maneuver and report on the world and social movements using a methodology that attempts to re-imagine and re-distribute power as an organization, with journalists, and as system actors, in an act of journalistic imagination. The Quilt came about after many months of discussion and mutual imagining. As people of color of different diasporas, we had rich conversations about each of our communities’ relationships to policy.

Through this we found ourselves sharing stories about local governance models in our various communities, and the lineages of organizing and storytelling embedded in our different cultures. Out of this process emerged this question: what does it mean to center art and healing as we talk about policy? We combined Voices’ background in creating policy tools, agendas, and report cards, with The UpTake’s tools & editorial knowledge, and a Journalism of Color methodology, developed by staff at The UpTake with guidance and mentorship from Voices’ staff.

We believe that it is not wrong for policy to incorporate healing, love, hope, beauty, and art. We believe that it is not wrong for policy to look and feel like us. We believe that it is not wrong for the Capitol to look like and feel like us. And we hope that The Quilt feels similar.

Our hope is for this magazine to be a bridge that connects policy, art, and healing, to a larger conversation about community transformation. At the same time, we have imagined a future for The Quilt. The UpTake plans on creating a year of reporting based on The Quilt, and we have imagined new ways of moving our partnerships forward, with, through, and led by our communities.

With gratitude,

the Editorial Team
Gabriella Anaïs Deal-Márquez,
Brett Grant, Fayise Abrahim, and
Cirien Saadeh

The Quilt Podcast Episode 6: Quilting Joy

2 years ago

[audio mp3=""][/audio] The final episode of Season 1 of The Quilt Podcast features May Losloso and mk nguyen exploring what we are being called in this moment to do as itREAD

Radical News Radio Hour: Prison Gerrymandering

2 years ago

[audio m4a=""][/audio] Radical News Radio Hour with Cirien Saadeh is a podcast connecting social movements, community organizing and the news. On this episode, Cirien talks about prison gerrymandering with Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera,READ

CAAL-MN Discusses Redefining Wealth in Recently Released Report

2 years ago

[audio mp3=""][/audio] The Coalition of Asian American Leaders-Minnesota (CAAL-MN) recently released a report, “Redefining Wealth Through Communal and Cultural Assets,” which aims to analyze definitions and present nuanced understandingsREAD

The Quilt Podcast Episode 5: Healing in this Moment

2 years ago

In Episode 5, Co-hosts Brett Grant & Gabriella Anais Deal-Marquez interview Ricardo Levins Morales, Ayo Clemons, & Louis Alemayehu on holding the nuance of what it means to ground healingREAD

The Quilt Podcast Episode 4: Birthing Rights for Incarcerated People

2 years ago

Episode 4 of the Quilt Podcast is a special BONUS episode hosted by Julia Freeman, Director of Community Engagement at Voices for Racial Justice. This is an extremely special conversationREAD

The Quilt Podcast Episode 3: Rent Stabilization

2 years ago

In Episode 3 of the Quilt Podcast, hosted by MK Nguyen and Cirien Saadeh, was about rent stabilization. Featured guests were: Danielle Swift, Tram Hoang, Jamila Mame, and Brian RosasREAD

The Quilt Podcast Episode 2: Solidarity with BLM at School

2 years ago

In Episode 2 of the Quilt Podcast aired February 4th, 2021. MK Nguyen and Kevin Reese hosted a conversation highlighting the voices of Black women laying the groundwork to stopREAD

Hearing for Capital Investments Committee

2 years ago

On January 28th our Research and Policy Team at Voices for Racial Justice testified at the Capital Investments Committee Hearing that discussed how our BIPOC folksREAD

Hearing for Philando Castile Omnibus Bill

2 years ago

We've been  closely following legislative and community policymaking that is grounding in racial justice solutions centering Black, Indigenous, and folks of color. On March 4th, 2021 Brett Grant,READ

The Quilt, Our Podcast, and Looking Towards the Future

2 years ago

Beloved Community, Just over a year ago, the first edition of The Quilt was released by The UpTake and Voices for Racial Justice. The Quilt:READ

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: Panel at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College

3 years ago This panel was a powerful conversation led by Indigenous women in Minnesota to raise awareness around the resilience of their communities and to seek solutions to the prevalence and impactWATCH

A Personal Story About #ReleaseMN8

3 years ago

Ched Nin and Jenny Srey share their story about undergoing and fighting deportation proceedings and the organizing that emerged through the Release MN 8 efforts.LISTEN

Equal Access to Medical Interpreters

3 years ago

Rosa Tock from the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, and Anjuli Mishra Cameron from the Minnesota Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, discuss the importance of immigrant and refugee communities havingLISTEN

Quilting As Cultural Justice

3 years ago

Douglas Ewart -composer, musician, retried professor- talks about the history of quilting, connecting it to cultural justice.LISTEN

A Historical Perspective on Reparations

3 years ago

Douglas Ewart-composer, musician, retried professor- shares his reflections on reparationsLISTEN

Data Disaggregation

3 years ago

KaYing Yang of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders(CAAL) talks about the importance of Data Disaggregation in making the needs of youth of color more visible within theLISTEN

Unemployment Insurance

3 years ago

Jessica Webster of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid talks about the importance of unemployment insurance as a racial and economic justice issueLISTEN

Anti-Gentrification Efforts

4 years ago

Owen Duckworth of the Alliance, talks about  anti-gentrification and anti-displacement organizing efforts in the Twin Cities metro areaLISTEN