​What Is the Problem We Are Trying to Solve?

Minnesota has the worst racial disparities in the nation. These disparities threaten our economic vitality and future prosperity. As a part of Wilder’s engagement in initiatives addressing racial inequity, we began to ask the question “Why Minnesota?” What is it about how we think, act and behave in Minnesota that causes these inequities?
We have no shortage of racial equity champions in Minnesota, but most of these champions are working in isolation as the only person in their organization whose job it is to address racial inequities. The Racial Equity Action Support Network (REASN) provides a supportive space to collaborate, ideate and catalyze change with those at the leading-edge of racial equity work.

Minnesota’s Racial Disparities – A Snapshot


The state ranks 5th in the percentage of white householders who own their own homes and 44th in the percentage of people of color who do so. Minnesota ranks last among states for the homeownership gap (37 percentage points).

 Proportion of adults who are working

Among white people, the state is 4th. Except for the Hispanic and “Other” Asian adult population, Minnesota falls in the bottom third of states for the share of adults working for every other population of color. Again, that gap is one of the greatest in the country.  And for the White – U.S. born Black employment gap, Minnesota is 49th. For Hispanic and “Other” Asian adults, the state ranks 5th

Poverty rate

For white people, 8 percent. That’s ninth in the nation. For people of color, in 2011, we ranked 30th among states.

High school graduation rates

For white students, 84 percent. For people of color, around half, depending on which minority group you’re measuring. The state has seen the share of students of color graduating on-time increase in the past few years; but the state also ranks near the bottom of states for students of color.

Health quality

Minnesota has been ranked America’s “Healthiest State” 11 times since 1990 but we have one of the nation's largest health quality gaps by race.
Minnesota Compass – Disparities: http://www.mncompass.org/disparities

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