Best of Neighborhoods News 05/21/2019: UMN student government reaffirms push to rename campus buildings

UMN student government reaffirms push to rename campus buildingsThe Minnesota Student Association released a letter in the wake of a decision that came after nearly a year-long contention over four University of Minnesota campus buildings named after figures with racist, anti-semitic pasts. The state university’s governing body, the Board of Regents, voted 10-1 against the renaming of Coffman Union, Coffey Hall, Nicholson Hall and Middlebrook Hall, names which go as far back as 1851. In pushing back against this decision, the MSA-issued letter reads, “We strongly believe that renaming is the first step of reckoning with our University’s [history]. That is why, to us, renaming is a when, not an if.” MSA will meet with the newly-appointed regents, as well as the incoming University President Joan Gabel, to continue conversations about renaming. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhoods News 04/23/19: “Bipartisan support, disagreement on funding” in the push for more teachers of color

“Bipartisan support, disagreement on funding” in the push for more teachers of color Recent budget proposals have fallen short of the lofty $80 million called for by a coalition to be spent on the Increase Teachers of Color Act. Indeed, the support for more teachers of color has received continued bipartisan support, especially at a time when “a third of Minnesota students are now children of color.”

One of the impetus behind this bipartisan push harkens back to a law passed in 2016 requiring “school districts to evaluate their teacher pool with the goal of reflecting the diversity of their student bodies.” This was part of the state’s effort to address education gaps. At the moment, the House DFL budget has dedicated $37 million over the next two years, while Governor Tim Walz has dedicated $16 million and the Senate has remained divided over funding for the program. A hurdle to overcome, as Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker says, is to invite “the Senate to come to the table to find some common ground with us.”

For more, read the story on MinnPost. Paige Reynolds diversifying the Minnesota Opera and its audiencePaige Reynolds, as a Black, queer woman and advocate for the classical arts, is more than just Minnesota Opera’s marketing associate. Continue Reading