Established in 2011, Minnesota Voice is a member-based coalition of non-profit organizations working toward permanent change in racial, social, and economic justice by increasing civic engagement and voter participation across the state, especially focused in underrepresented communities; making sure that every Minnesotans’ voice is heard, and the state reflects the values of its people. Our partners are grounded in the belief that: decision makers will be held accountable when collective power has been built; more participation equals a stronger democracy; and that public institutions will improve people’s lives when they advance people driven solutions and address racial and economic disparities.
We are the backbone strategists for the We Vote MN coalition’s execution of a collective impact model, using data driven best practices, leadership development, and grants to help our partners maximize our collective capacities. To be a part of the coalition, an organization makes a commitment to leading with racial equity, to meeting measurable goals as defined in our annual written collective impact plan and a subsequent written division of labor.
Our organizational goals are:
- Promote and engage non-profits as key messengers; entry points for voter engagement; incubators of untapped social capital that could be harnessed with investments in leadership development inside and outside the metro areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul
- Fill the gap for nonprofit professional development in civic engagement for communities of color in the state
- People from communities of color learn skills to engage fully in our democracy
- People from communities of color are informed of the effects of public policy on them and their communities and have the means to address their concerns
We offer partners:
- Coordination and planning for nonpartisan integrated voter engagement programs
- Voter file access, targeting, data analysis, and technical assistance
- Resource library of template materials and data driven best practices
- Training on voter engagement, policy, community organizing, data management, and a series on our VAN
- Opportunities to participate in testing/development of best practices for voter engagement in communities of color
- Grants for participation in the We Vote MN Coordinated Program and the We Vote MN Fellows Program
Over past few years, we have seen significant growth and evolution. The reach of the table is larger than it has ever been, with over 40 permanent/temporary partners. The table is more accurately reflecting the communities we serve with new table staff and partners being led by people of color and leadership development programs to foster the next generation of political leaders of color. Our vision is to be the conduit for intentional collaborative community organizing, leadership development, and advocacy aimed at building sustainable power in communities of color in 2018 and beyond.