Social Justice Speakers

Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth (Feb 2021)

Tawanna Black, Founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion, the nation’s first such organization, Talked about her work to dismantle structural racism and economic disparities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Her organization helps equip Twin Cities individuals and institutions with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to overcome racism and bias, foster accountability, and promote an inclusive, equitable, and healthy regional economy.

Racism in Real Estate (April 2021)

This class, created by the Mapping Prejudice project, explores structural racism and the racial wealth gap as it applies to housing. It considered the role of the real estate industry in the history of racial housing discrimination and the consequences of these policies on housing equity today.

Presented by Rethos:  Places Reimagined.  Hosted by City of Shoreview Human Rights Commission, Ramsey County Library and Do Good Roseville.

Racism in Policing (May 2021)

Duchess Harris, professor of American studies and political science, will talk about the historical institutions and laws that underpin today’s system and what police departments and the communities they serve are doing to improve communication and relationships.

This is an online program offered remotely using Zoom communication software. You must register in advance for this program. After registering, you will receive an automated confirmation email.

This program is sponsored by the Shoreview Human Rights Commission and Do Good Roseville.

This program is funded in part by the Friends of Ramsey County Libraries and the City of Shoreview.

Ending the School to Prison Pipeline (Sept 2021)

A juvenile record is a gateway to mass incarceration. How do we stop the school-to-prison pipeline? An average of $33,000 is spent on an incarcerated individual. Imagine if we could reinvest those dollars into our children and their education. Furthermore, children who go to juvenile detention are not the only ones affected. Together, we can create new pipelines for the success of all children and our communities. Dr. Artika Tyner shared information about the school to prison pipeline and introduced 3 key strategies for ending the school to prison pipeline.

Dr. Tyner is a passionate educator, lawyer, author, sought-after speaker, and advocate for justice. In recognition of her leadership and service, she is the recipient of more than two dozen awards that include: Women in Business, American Small Business Champion, International Educator Citizen, and American Bar Association Difference Makers.   

This program was hosted the Ramsey County Library and the City of Shoreview Human Rights Commission.  This program is made possible by funding from the Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries. 

Here is a link to view this program:

Additional resources:


  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr
  • Blind Spots:  Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald

Planting People Growing Justice Institute:

Restorative Justice in Oakland School District:

Legal Rights Center (MN):

Juvenile Detention Alternative Institute:


Model Cities:

Harvard Implicit Association Test

Intersection of Race, Discrimination, and Trauma (May 2021)

This National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota-led workshop focuses on Black trauma due to experiences of racism, discrimination, and negative police interactions, and the effect these experiences have on the health and mental health of African Americans. Healing is addressed through focus on mental wellness for African Americans, and covers mental health, mental illness, the mental health system, and provides participants with information on mental health assessments, what they are, who can and cannot do an assessment, and other important information to address the most common barriers that prevent African Americans from help seeking.  

Criminal Justice Today: Law Enforcement (Feb 2022)

What roles do different people in the criminal justice
system play? Public conversations recently have turned
to how to fix or abolish racist policing, sentencing and
incarceration. This program discusses the role of law enforcement.

OUCH! That Stereotype Hurts (Feb 2020)

What if you or someone else is the direct or unintentional target of bias? Are you afraid to speak up? Silence in the face of bias reinforces negative attitudes and behaviors. How can we break the cycle and be diplomatic as the same time? At this event we viewed and discussed the video Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts.

Facilitator Michael Gregory is a Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court, and mediates regularly in Ramsey County Housing Court and Ramsey County Conciliation Court, as well as speaking professionally about overcoming conflict. The program helped explore the impact of bias and stereotypes and provided practical advice on how to speak up and help others to overcome bias and stereotypes without guilt or blame.

Trauma Awareness, Not a One Dimensional Experience (Dec 2019)

Why is trauma such an important topic in society today? Professor Yvonne RB-Banks, Ed.D discussed what trauma is, how it may appear, and how it affects people and society.

This event provided information on trauma-informed practices that help inform personal and professional spaces and discuss which resources and actions are good next steps when needed.

Everyone left with an action plan for learning, being aware, or going deeper based on interest.

Hosted in partnership with Ramsey County Libraries. Funded by Friends of Ramsey County Libraries.

What Would You Do?

All of us have seen videos or witnessed situations of racist interactions or micro aggressions of racial discrimination.

Have you ever wondered what you would do or say if you were witness to such a situation, whether you are in places like a store, in the classroom, or on public transit?

Speaking up is better than stepping back.

Come and experience those very scenarios and participate as an audience with the help of three actors from Blackout Improv.

This is the opportunity to practice those skills without judgement.

Blackout Improv is a comedy group of stand-up comedians, musicians, and classically trained actors performing in a cast that is all black.

Confronting Racism – Minnesota Style (Nov 2017)

Confronting Racism – Minnesota Style for Youth (Dec 2017)

Co-sponsored by the Shoreview Human Rights Commission and the League of Women Voters of White Bear Lake Area and the Ramsey County Library.