Southwest Initiative Foundation believes that dignity and belonging are core human values, and we stand against all forms of hatred and racism. We are alarmed and saddened by the presence of hate groups and symbols and hateful actions in our communities. Our vision is a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. This can’t be realized while fear and hatred persist.
We all have a role to play in building vibrant and welcoming communities. Here are three things you can do daily to make a difference:
- Listen and learn. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, ask questions and seek answers to things you don’t understand. This includes recognizing privilege and biases you may have. Here’s one list of resources to check out.
- Challenge racism, discrimination and hate. Look for ways to improve interactions and change systems within our communities that aren’t inclusive and equitable. Call out racist and discriminatory “jokes,” statements and acts. Be willing to engage with family, friends, colleagues and local leaders to have important, respectful conversations about what words and actions mean.
- Put empathy and kindness first. Current crises are creating fear and disrupting our lives, and all of us are experiencing it in different ways. Think about how you can help members of your community who are especially impacted during this time through racism, discrimination, lost wages and business revenue, child care and school closures, food insecurity and more.
We must keep working hard—and working together—to ensure all southwest Minnesotans get through these difficult days and share in a brighter future.