Members host films, speakers and discussions for Black History Month

Publish Date

Participants are encouraged to “bring your lunch, family members and more” as part of a Black History Month film, speakers and discussion series taking place each workday. The thought-provoking series is organized by the Equity and Justice Black Caucus, a statewide Employee Resource Group.

Film topics include the killing of George Floyd, the invisible soldiers of World War II, Jim Crow of the North, the civil rights movement, Black Panthers and Spike Lee’s award-winning documentary, 4 Little Girls, about the Ku Klux Klan-related Birmingham church bombing that killed the young girls. The full agenda is here 

Local 1002 President Maurice Wilson chairs the Equity and Justice Black Caucus. Wilson introduces each film or speaker at 12 p.m. each Monday through Friday. The discussions following the films and speakers will continue until 2 p.m. and employees may participate the entire two hours or come and go during the times that work best for them. Contact Wilson at Maurice.wilson@state.mn.us for the link to participate.

Wilson and his colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Education organized a similar series last year during Black History Month. Wilson currently hosts the popular biweekly Conversations About Race, Ethnicity, Culture and More meetings.

On Feb. 17, the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s African American Employee Resource Group will host a panel discussion on Inspiration in Transportation – Leaders Now Envisioning the Future. The discussion will be led by Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Deputy Commissioner Kim Collins, and will include state transportation leaders from California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.  

The discussion will focus on organizational equity, recruitment and retention and career advancement in transportation for people of color.

As part of Black History Month. Amazon Prime will be streaming Rondo: Beyond the Pavement, a Minnesota student-produced film and podcast that chronicles the history of a once-thriving African American neighborhood in St. Paul torn apart by the I-94 Interstate corridor.

If your agency is planning a Black History Month program, please let us know about it at Action@Mape.org so we can add it to our list of agency activities.