The Advisory Team is working on implementation around goal two of the strategic plan. This team is made up of representatives from community organizations as well as community stakeholders.
SAMHSA Site Visit
Five representatives from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration visited Minneapolis to engage with the community as well as offer resources to the ReCAST Minneapolis team. Various resource building sessions were held, as well as a community tour led by the City Council representatives from Ward 4 & 5.
Philando Castile/Yanez Verdict Response
One of the main objectives of ReCAST Minneapolis is to align community resources to increase the capacity of organizations as well as meeting the needs of the community's youth, families and other residents. Partner organizations of ReCAST came together after the Yanez trial verdict to create spaces for community to express their emotions in a safe environment. The ReCAST Minneapolis team held conference calls each morning to make partner organizations aware of all events had resources that were being offered through the communities of North and South Minneapolis. Below are the organizations that hosted these events.
Joy Unlimited, Coaching and Consulting
The organization Joi Unlimited, Coaching and Consulting, participated in virtual responses to the community in the aftermath of the Yanez verdict. Dr. Joi herself appeared on KMOJ radio station twice to share information with the community about normalizing the possible feelings of trauma that people were feeling. Joi Unlimited also participated in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) with other community partners and healers that may be released at a later date. The organization also worked with a videographer to produce a series on #blackjoy to offer counter images to the trauma loop produced by the releasing of the dashcam video after the trial verdict. Joi Unlimited live streamed five to fifteen minute meditations that community members could join live or view later to work through the trauma being felt in a constructive way. Each of the meditations had several hundred viewers.
Information about these virtual responses were shared through the shared through distribution lists from organizations such as NorthPoint Health and Wellness, community healers' circles, social media and through KMOJ radio. A one pager developed in collaboration with different community organizations offered resources on how to respond the trauma and toxic stress community may be feeling. Dr. Joi guided folks through a mediation practice that they could do on their own and in a very short period of time to help relax their central nervous system. Several people and organizations have reached out asking for follow-ups and additional grounding resources.
- The need to connect with community virtually is growing. It is great to be able to come together in person but it can sometimes be difficult to get there.
On June 21, Kente Circle held an Evening of Community Healing event. Kente Circle utilized other community partners to offer resources, food, and emotional support. Jamela Pettiford and Dru Devon shared spoken word and musical gifts, Mike Hoyt and Pillsbury House + Theatre provided healing space, Better Futures Minnesota and Seward Co-op donated food and the ReCAST Minneapolis team was able to offer emotional, logistical and financial support. The Youth Coordinating Board's Youth Outreach Team shared insights and were able to connect Kente Circle to the rest of the team. Walk-In Hours at Kente Circle 6/21-6/24
Kente Circle shared this event with the community by sending our emails to their mailing lists of about 1000 community members and utilized Facebook to advertise their event as well as their scheduled walk-in hours. Other ways of reaching the community included publishing the event in the Star Tribune, through KMOJ on the radio and utilizing the ReCAST Minneapolis team's network. The event was advertised to the community in one day and 45 community members were able to participate.
Walk-in services were offered at Kente Circle from June 21-24 and printed materials with information about trauma healing and community referral resources. Kente Circle hopes to hold additional events in the future both for community and for supporting community healers specifically.
- People were more receptive to our invitation to gather in community than to come in for "walk-in services." We want to language offers of therapeutic support differently in the future; Language that is more about the collective, sharing, being in community with others, etc.
- Youth specific outreach is needed to draw young people to our community gathering. The Youth Outreach Team helped tremendously with this aspect.
- Music and spoken word were helpful in creating a healing space and supporting honesty and risk-taking
- Offering the community food was received as a supportive effort as well as offering gift cards for participants to support self-care for community members.
Minneapolis Urban League
The Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) was the host site for a healing session on June 20 and a listening session on June 21. Both events were held in partnership with NorthPoint Health and Wellness. These events were promoted on KMOJ's radio station as well as on Facebook and Twitter. MUL also utilized printed materials in other community organizations and nonprofits as an advertisement for the second event that was held. Resources that were offered to the community at these events included take home methods of self-soothing and healing.
- All relevant organizations should be involved in creating a plan in the aftermath of future events such as the Yanez trial verdict. This will ensure proactive planning rather than simply reactive plans.
NorthPoint Health and Wellness
On June 17, 20, and 21, NorthPoint Health and Wellness partnered with the Minneapolis Urban League to provide community healing and listening spaces. The KMOJ radio station also provided free radio station time to advertise the events and Sammy's Avenue Eatery was involved in the event on the 21st.
Both events were communicated and advertised via social media and KMOJ radio station. All other events were heavily advertised and promoted on organization websites and Facebook. At the listening session, community members were offered restorative justice intervention and in the healing spaces, community members were given mindfulness and meditation services. NorthPoint also offered walk-in hours for community and they saw an increase in the number of people that sought out these services.
Community members were grateful for the space created by NorthPoint and would like to see more listening sessions throughout the community. Through the events held in partnership with the Minneapolis Urban League, NorthPoint felt the relationship was stronger and better prepared for future community healing efforts.
- Proper planning for community events is important.
- Marketing strategies that utilize social media, especially Facebook, are extremely effective within the African-American community.
- Offering food is an important incentive to increase community participation.
Last updated Aug 8, 2017