Glidden awarded Bush Fellowship to help advance racial equity agenda

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December 11, 2013
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (8th Ward) has been awarded a Bush Fellowship to help city leaders reduce racial disparities in Minneapolis.

“This honor will help us with leadership tools to ensure that local elected leaders are conscious about how racial equity plays into every decision we make,” Glidden said in a statement. “I thank the Bush Foundation for investing in the City of Minneapolis and our ability to close the racial divide that so many in our city must face every day.”  

The city’s significant racial disparities in education, employment and housing, among other things, was the most prominent issue on the campaign trail earlier this year.

The new City Council taking office in early January will be the most diverse in the city’s history with the first Hmong, Somali and Mexican-American members joining the 13-member body.

Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges has also repeatedly said that reducing the city’s racial gaps will be a top priority for her when she starts her new job.

“I share with Council Member Glidden her vision for a fairer, more equitable Minneapolis where we have eliminated disparities of race and geography,” Hodges said in a statement. “I appreciate that she is bringing to bear on this challenge an effort to make sure that all municipal elected officials in Minneapolis have a better toolkit for framing and talking about this issue, and I congratulate her on this fellowship.”

Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the Twin Cities also issued a statement congratulating Glidden on her fellowship.

“Our members are keenly aware of the racial disparities that divide our city,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26. “We see those disparities in employment, wages, and housing throughout Minneapolis. They supported Council Member Glidden in her reelection bid because they know her commitment to addressing these racial disparities. We’re proud to see the Bush Fellowship Program recognize her for that commitment as well.” 

Glidden’s work will build on efforts already underway in the city. The city has a racial equity toolkit based on a similar program in Seattle that calls on city leaders to consider how their decisions impact racial equity in the city.

The St. Paul-based Bush Foundation promotes strong leadership in communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. It was founded in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth.