Overcoming racism conference offered in St. PaulThis year marks 150 years since the U.S.- Dakota war in Minnesota, the mass internment of Dakota at Fort Snelling, and the hanging of 38 Dakota men at Mankato.
This year marks 150 years since the U.S.- Dakota war in Minnesota, the mass
internment of Dakota at Fort Snelling, and the hanging of 38 Dakota men at Mankato.
Though greater attention has been paid to these events in recent months, Minnesota’s history of colonization (white settlers taking over the lands of the Dakota and other American Indian tribes) and its impacts on our communities today remain largely unexamined.
The 2012 Overcoming Racism conference will explore this history, along
with the "settler colonialism" (the belief that the “white way” is the right or superior way)
and "Minnesota Nice" mindsets, and their impact on current struggles for decolonization (undoing and recreating the systems that oppress and create disparities for people of
color) and equity in the state and beyond.
Understanding the nature and impact of the history of colonization, along with offering approaches to decolonizing minds as well as our organizations and institutions, is the focus of a two-day regional conference – “Decolonizing Minnesota and Beyond: Historical and Current Struggles” – to be held November 16-17 at Metropolitan State Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The conference is organized by the Facilitating Racial
Equity Collaborative (FREC), made up of two dozen Minnesota groups, institutions and individuals committed to overcoming racism and ensuring racial justice.
Keynote addresses by featured speakers Waziyatawin, Dr. Rose M. Brewer, theatrical performances, and a diverse and
challenging set of workshops, are designed to:
--Address the white racial frame in the context of colonization and decolonization.
--Explore how historical and ongoing colonization affects antiracism work.
--Provide models, skills and tools for advancing decolonization and antiracist transformation that participants can apply in their daily lives, their work and their institutional and community contexts.
The conference runs all day on both Friday November 16 and Saturday November 17, at Metropolitan State University’s St. Paul campus, 700 E. 7th Street in St. Paul.
Registration and plenary sessions will be in Founders Hall. Each day will include a morning keynote, networking opportunities, lunch, a rich menu of breakout workshops offered by leaders and advocates from local and national organizations, coalitions, schools, communities and institutions, and a closing theatrical performance.
Last year’s conference was sold out in advance. Participants can register for the whole
conference or for one day only. Organizers expect the conference to be full again this year, so early registration is
highly encouraged. Fees are waived for Indigenous (First Nations) people. Details and
registration links can be found at www.overcomingracism.org