Children's Minnesota in the News

Reflecting on George Floyd’s impact on advancing health equity

May 25, 2023, marked three years since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. His death gave way to a national uprising for racial justice and equity. Earlier this year, the  American Hospital Association (AHA) gathered leaders to discuss how Floyd’s murder and the racial reckoning that followed impacted the future of their work to advance health equity. Speakers included leaders from the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity (MBCRE), Children’s Minnesota, M Health Fairview, Allina Health, Mortenson Construction and The Sanneh Foundation.

The video of the discussion, Rebuilding a New Minneapolis: From Tragedy to Transformation: Part 2, was recently released by the AHA.

Discussion information

The discussion was moderated by Leon Caldwell, senior director health equity strategy and innovation within the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) at the AHA. Discussion participants included:

  • Keisha Powell, equity and inclusion director, Children’s Minnesota.
  • Tiffani Daniels, managing director, MBCRE.
  • Tony Sanneh, CEO, The Sanneh Foundation.
  • Diane Tran, system executive director, community health equity and engagement, M Health Fairview.
  • Shanae Phillips, community empowerment manager, Mortenson Construction.
  • Alison Pence, community engagement director, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Allina Health.

Working with people and organizations positively and effectively

Tiffani talked about how critical it is to be able to work with other people and organizations positively and effectively.

“Collaboration is crucial to an organization like MBCRE. We are a consortium of businesses and I think one of the shifts among many that happened in this community after 2020 was the willingness to work together and this unwavering commitment to collective impact. That organizations may have individually been adapting DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) efforts or had initiatives that were important to driving their business and important to the communities in which they serve, but there has been a different commitment to working together and recognizing that we all have a role to play. The business community working together, various community organizations working together. We did not get here alone or overnight. If we are serious about the kind of transformation that this community and this state needs, then we all must be working together.”

Getting leadership engaged

Keisha Powell, the director of equity and inclusion at Children’s Minnesota, spoke about getting leadership engaged to drive positive impact in the community:

“For Children’s Minnesota, we had an intentional focus on identifying structural racism as really being impactful on the health and well-being of our children and families, so once the murder of George Floyd happened, it really allowed us to bring more visibility as to why our organization was important, being right there in the community to really be impactful. Not only listening to voices in the community but getting our leaders like Dr. Marc Gorelick and other executive leadership to really engage and understand the importance of this work and how we need it to change within our walls to ensure that we were impacting the community in a positive fashion.”

Hope for the future

Tiffani also shared some of MBCRE’s hopes for the future.

“The story that I would like for us to be able to tell about the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity is that the corporate community here in Minnesota unleashed its scale to advance racial equity for Black Minnesotans. That we all were witness to organizations like Children’s [Minnesota] and Allina [Health] and M Health Fairview locking arms to address and eliminate some of our region’s most stark disparities. I want us to collectively build a future for Black Minnesotans that drives the same economic outcomes for Black residents as we see for white Minnesotans and to do that through the collective impact of the corporate community. That’s the power of this coalition, that’s the power of having so many corporate citizens here in this region.”

The two-part video discussion is available on the AHA’s website.

Watch Rebuilding a New Minneapolis: From Tragedy to Transformation: Part 2