We are again sharing a statement from CURA Director Ed Goetz on the murder of George Floyd at the top of this message. The fundamental issues of justice that Mr. Floyd’s murder surfaces for our community and for the entire nation dominate our conversations about what is next for CURA. 

Following that statement, we share a message about CURA’s work in a COVID-19 world.

Statement from the Director of CURA

Our community witnesses again the violence of police brutality ending in the death of a Black man. It is well past the time for people in power, those who can impose change on a police department with a history of such violence, to take real action. It is time for all levels of the criminal justice system to bring justice to those responsible for the death of George Floyd. White supremacy is not just the actions of ‘one bad cop’. It is also the culture that produces and tolerates the actions of that officer. It is the history of implicit and explicit permission that gives the officer confidence to act as he did in broad daylight, on a busy, populated street, knowing he is being filmed. In the short term we require justice for George Floyd. In the long term we require change that confronts systems of racial subordination and inequity that are deeply embedded in American life. 

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota commits to supporting and collaborating with our community partners on this necessary work.

Edward Goetz
Director, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs

Our office may be closed, but CURA is open

To our partners,

We at CURA want to affirm our commitment to working collaboratively with you on the wide range of initiatives that were in place and/or planned prior to the pandemic. Our offices are shut down and will remain so for some time, but CURA remains open and operational. Given the way that the virus has disrupted community life and aggravated inequities, and given the clear necessity for justice and equity work in the wake of the murder of George Floyd the vital projects that we pursue together are more important now than ever. In this newsletter, you will see some of the ways that we have continued to work in partnership with organizations across the metro area and across the state. We send out this newsletter to assure you of our ongoing commitment to the work we have started and to demonstrate how we can keep the work moving forward. 

CURA is continuing to create and implement new ideas and new partnerships, so please reach out to your program contacts at CURA if you have thoughts or concerns. 

Ed Goetz, CURA Director

CURA Programs Directors

C Terrence Anderson, Community-Based Research Programs

Kathie Doty, Hennepin-University Partnership

Mike Greco, Resilient Communities Project

Dr. Brittany Lewis, CURA Research

Jeff Matson, Community GIS (CGIS)

Ned Moore, Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing

Kristen Murray, Community Visualization

CURA Programs updates

Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing shifts in response to police violence

Malik Holt-Shabazz, Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing Program Coordinator, is supporting neighborhood associations in the surrounding 38th Street and Chicago Ave area in demanding justice for George Floyd, and to organize and uplift the voice of community residents in these historically black neighborhoods. 

Ned Moore, Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing Program Director, has been working in Longfellow with neighbors to get anti-racist organizing and leadership development off the ground focused on justice for George Floyd, community safety without police, and equitable reconstruction of East Lake St for BIPOC businesses and residents.

In recent months, we have been conducting a series of video conference calls with our Neighborhood Now alumni cohorts centered around the new realities of neighborhood organizing under the pandemic.  We are planning a Neighborhoods Now Alumni Summit for later this month focused on police violence.  

Finally, we have finalized our selection of participants in our summer cohort beginning and August.  Our next cohort will be in February 2021. Sign up to be on the Neighborhoods Now! email list to hear about the next session.

Dr. Brittany Lewis named 2020 Bush Fellow

Dr. Brittany Lewis named 2020 Bush Fellow
Dr. Brittany Lewis named 2020 Bush Fellow
Illustration from Bush Fellowship

CURA Senior Research Associate Dr. Brittany Lewis is a 2020 Bush Fellow. She is one of 24 Fellows and will be given up to $100,000 over 12 to 24 months to pursue formal and informal learning experiences. Dr. Lewis will use her Fellowship to help elected leaders, government officials and community members better understand how to use data as a tool for positive change. Specifically, she will seek coaching skills and study new ways to use data visualization to demystify complex ideas. Also, Dr. Lewis was recently honored with the “History Makers at Home Award” by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department and named one of the “Top 100+ Leading Black Women” by the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to CURA’s Dr. Brittany Lewis.

CURA Research updates

CURA staff are pursuing a number of research projects despite the constraints of the pandemic. Projects include an analysis of police arrest data in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, statewide eviction data, and an assessment of the implementation of the City of Minneapolis’ COVID-19 emergency housing assistance program. 

Mapping the 2020 Census response

The 2020 Census is underway and MN still leads the nation in response rate! A lot is at stake, including keeping Minnesota's eight seats in the House of Representatives and billions of dollars in Federal funding for important programs like housing, health care and education. Want to see how your neighborhood is doing? Check out these maps of Minneapolis and St. Paul made and updated weekly by CURA CGIS. Encourage your friends and neighbors, if they haven't already, to fill out their 2020 Census forms here. Minnesota is counting on you! 

CURA assistance for your mapping and data projects

CGIS is still accepting project requests, fulfilling mapping and data needs, and providing technical assistance to the state's non-profit community. We specialize in demographic, housing and economic development data, but can work with your organization to find whatever information is needed. No project too large or too small. And no deadlines to apply or forms to fill out. Projects accepted on an on-going basis throughout spring and summer. Send an email to cgis@umn.edu to get started!

RCP Deadline extended to June 15

Apply for a partnership with the Resilient Communities Project

The Resilient Communities Project (RCP) is now accepting proposals from local government agencies for partnerships for the academic year beginning fall 2020. Projects should demonstrably advance community resilience to economic, social, environmental, or technological changes, and may include projects related to the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, policing and public safety, and racial equity and social justice issues. RCP currently has two open requests for proposals: Standard RCP Partnership for communities anywhere in Minnesota and a Comprehensive Plan Implementation Partnership for communities within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council. The deadline for both of these has been extended to June 15. Contact rcp@umn.edu to get started!

Hennepin-University Partnership adaptations to remote service

The Hennepin-University Partnership (HUP) is now sending weekly emails to its cohort of county staff with information on University webinars, trainings, tools, and other resources that can support them and their colleagues. HUP Brown Bags, events where University faculty share about research of interest to the county, are being held over Zoom. At the last Brown Bag on May 14, Professor Tai Mendenhall, Associate Professor of Family Social Science in the College of Education and Human Development, shared about the Citizen Health Care Project. Through its Summer Webinar Series, HUP is holding more frequent workshops to provide county staff with opportunities for learning and professional development. The next webinar will be held Thursday, June 25 at 12:00pm, with Rebecca Shlafer and graduate students from the School of Public Health and Medical School sharing about their collaboration with the Hennepin County Jail to create educational materials in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, as well as the effects of the pandemic on incarcerated populations here and nationally.

This is Home
2020 Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative recipient, This is Home by Mychal Batson and Tou Saiko Lee with Frogtown Neighborhood Association

Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative 2020 Projects

The Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative (ANPI) provides small grants to artists of color and Native artists working in neighborhoods in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. ANPI grants recognize the valuable role that artists and the arts play in the work of fostering neighborhood wellbeing, and are intended to support the leadership of artists in these efforts. This grant program is particularly focused on directly funding individual artists or groups of artists working to build a more equitable Twin Cities.

Here are the 2020 ANPI projects and artists:

Announcing the recipients of the Housing Stability Grants

The CURA and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability (the Alliance) are excited to announce the recipients of the Housing Stability Grants. The grants will enhance the capacity of community-based organizations working with BIPOC communities, people with disabilities, and low-wealth communities to build power and advance systems and policy changes to gain access to safe, healthy, affordable, and reliable housing. Read more about the recipients

2020-2021 Faculty Interactive Research Program Awards

CURA is pleased to announce the recipients of this year′s Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP) grants: 

The FIRP encourages University faculty to carry out research projects that answer questions about these important regional issues, in partnership with community groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota. 

Nelson Community-Based Research project transforms into Community Visualization piece

CAAl Post Image

Coalition of Asian American Leaders (or CAAL) has proactively led a campaign urging our government and private institutions to collect and use disaggregated data that more accurately reflects Asian American experiences. This way, solutions crafted to achieve equitable social, economic, and health outcomes will be more responsive and relevant.

This winter, CAAL staff, designer Khou Vue, and CURA worked together to create a visual snapshot of The Factors Impacting the Economic Wellbeing of Asian Minnesotans. The infographics in this brochure-poster are selected from a CURA Kris Nelson Community-Based Research project led by CAAL with UMN Graduate Research Assistant Leoma Van Dort.

CAAL and CURA believe that having richer and more nuanced data will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of different Asian communities that will accelerate the work of advancing equity for all Asian Minnesotans.

The poster-brochure is designed to be printed front-back on 18"x24" paper and folded. 

Learn more about this project and download the poster-brochure.