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The “Minnesota Paradox” and our work

Published on October 23, 2020  |  Written by Karen Smith

The international spotlight turned to Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death, followed by a community rising up to demand justice and police reforms.  News media coverage highlighted the “Minnesota Paradox” – that our state is top ranked for both “livability”, and for racial disparities.

Today, The Family Partnership’s mission is more relevant than ever – advocating for systemic change while building a path forward for individuals and families living in poverty and experiencing trauma.

In fact, our services are intentionally located in communities disproportionately affected by racially motivated housing policies that led to intergenerational cycles of poverty and inequality – North Minneapolis and the South Minneapolis Powderhorn and Phillips neighborhoods.

Our approach is to partner with individuals and families and build upon their inherent strengths.  Using a whole family, multi-generational approach, we work to eliminate barriers and build tools for people to move forward.

Here are a few ways TFP services make a difference for racial equity:

Advocacy – We worked to rid the Powderhorn Neighborhood of slumlords and with the third precinct police to change the way the officers interact with victims of sex trafficking. Our PRIDE program hosts expungement clinics with legal partners so survivors of sex trafficking can remove criminal charges – vital to gaining housing, employment or educational opportunities.

Early education and care – Our multicultural North Minneapolis preschool and South Minneapolis Four Directions center offer highly rated education based on the latest scientific evidence. We also offer developmental screenings and on-site therapies to identify and address any barriers to learning.

Our School Linked Mental Health and Multi-Systemic therapies work to break the school to prison pipeline. These programs keep teenagers out of the criminal justice system, which disproportionately affects people of color.

Our advanced standing master’s degree students in our Diversity Social Work Advancement Program (DSWAP) offer underrepresented communities (BIPOC, new immigrants, refugees and LGBTQ+) access to outpatient therapy at low or no cost.

Our Family Home Visiting programs educate and empower caregivers to gain skills and strengthen the health and well-being of their family.  In part, we help new parents establish healthy bonds for child development, connect caregivers to community resources, and even partner to assist parents in the requirements to resolve an open child protection case and keep their family together.

For more than 142 years, The Family Partnership has advocated for and provided services to families facing the greatest disparities in our community.

To invest in our work, make a donation here.

Feature Photo Credit: Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

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