At the beginning of February, Members of the Senate DFL leadership pause to reflect on the purpose of Black History Month and renew their focus on building a more just future for all Minnesotans. Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed the month of February as “Black History Month” in Minnesota. As we enter the second month of a new legislative session, that proclamation reminds all of us to center racial equity in everything that the Legislature does.
“Black History Month is a reminder to celebrate the amazing contributions of Black Minnesotans and Americans, and it also calls on us to do better,” said Senate DFL Leader, Susan Kent. “As we begin this month, let us remember to take time to reflect and listen so that we are able to uplift voices that have been underrepresented at the Legislature for far too long.”
“These past months, we have heard loud and clear the need for transformational change in our community, particularly for our Black Minnesotans following the murder of George Floyd.” said Assistant Minority Leader Melisa Franzen. “We should elevate the work of reforming our justice system, aggressively closing the opportunity gaps in our education system, and ensuring that all of the diverse voices of Minnesotans are reflected throughout our deliberations at the legislature.”
“As the Senate DFL discussed our priorities for this legislative session, it was clear that our values and our constituents call on us to center racial equity and justice in all of our work,” said Assistant Minority Leader Nick Frentz. “Black History Month is a perfect reminder that justice in our state is unfinished, and that the contributions of Black Minnesotans to our state’s history and culture are essential and make us a stronger, better One Minnesota.”
“Black History Month gives us all the chance to celebrate the legacy of Black men and women throughout history. Their commitment and work is an inspiration for us and will continue to guide us as we work towards continuing the fight for equity in health care, education, and in our communities,” said Assistant Minority Leader Foung Hawj. “As a member of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus, I hope that this occasion is a reminder to support and center the voices of Black Minnesotans as we do this important work.
In the words of Congressman John Lewis: “You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone – any person or any force – dampen, dim, or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant.” May we all study the path of others this Black History Month.
Black History Month is a federally recognized celebration that begins February 1st and concludes on March 1st.