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Minneapolis shuts down plan to give staff racially segregated talks on race

The course on the historical oppression of African Americans was offered in separate classes for "white bodied" and "black bodied" staff.

The course on the historical oppression of African Americans was offered in separate classes for "white bodied" and "black bodied" staff. David Joles, Star Tribune

The city of Minneapolis’ racial equity coordinators plan to discuss some meaty topics with city staff this summer, including race, oppression, and the struggle for freedom.

According to a post on the city’s website -- which has since been removed -- the original idea was to hold the discussions in groups segregated by black and white. Organizers planned on talking with black staff members and white staff members separately.

Talks for “white bodied” and “black bodied” staff were supposed to take place at the same time in separate locations throughout the summer. The goal was to discuss how staff “relate to the enslavement, resistance, and continual push for liberation for African American people.”

A screenshot shows the original listing for the summer talks on race.

A screenshot shows the original listing for the summer talks on race. Screenshot by the Minnesota Sun

The city's site no longer says anything about separating black and white employees, and for good reason. These meetings, according to spokesperson Casper Hill, are being rescheduled. He said the city coordinator’s office only found out the talks would be segregated last week, and immediately postponed them.

“It came to the attention of the City Coordinator’s Office that sessions had been promoted publicly in a way the city does not condone, as we cannot, nor will we, divide people based on race, ethnicity, or any other protected class,” he said. Nobody from the city's Race and Equity division was immediately available for comment. 

The city still hasn’t found a date for the first talk, but when it does, it will not be segregated.