The Unity Map was developed in conjunction with the Our Maps MN Campaign, which is a nonpartisan, grassroots campaign, committed to a community-focused, accessible, and transparent redistricting process. The Unity Map is also a natural extension of groundbreaking work done by the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership in connection with the 2020 Census. The Minnesota Council on Foundations played a leadership role in convening the Partnership and coordinating the community engagement and community mapping efforts of the Campaign.
During the 2021 redistricting cycle, MCF worked diligently to engage Minnesota’s BIPOC and other historically underrepresented communities in the redistricting process, with a shared goal of ensuring the new redistricting plans that will govern Minnesota’s elections for the next decade reflect the input of these communities. To achieve this, MCF partnered with 12 BIPOC-led and serving organizations:
- African Career, Education & Resource, Inc.
- Anika Foundation
- Asian American Organizing Project
- CAPI USA
- Communities Organizing Latinx Power and Action
- Deaf Equity
- Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research
- Islamic Civic Society of America
- Native American Community Development Institute
- Pillsbury United Communities
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Voices for Racial Justice
These organization led more than 100 hours of training, redistricting education and awareness, community outreach and engagement, listening sessions, and map drawing meetings. Mapping sessions were conducted in more than 5 languages, engaged more than ten racial/ethnic groups, and drew participation from more than 400 individual community members. Through this engagement, more than 40 community of interest maps were developed during the months of July, August, and September 2021, all of which were informed and developed by community members and their stories. With these community of interest maps in hand, these organizations worked to develop the Unity Map. Read more about the full process in this declaration written by MCF Public Policy Manager, May Yang.
The Our Maps MN Campaign and the process by which the Unity Map was developed leaves no doubt that Minnesota’s BIPOC and historically underrepresented communities desire to be engaged in the redistricting process and, in fact, can lead the process. The Unity Map was created by the people for the people—by engaged members of Minnesota’s BIPOC and other historically underrepresented communities who historically have been left out of the redistricting process, and with their interests at the center.
View the Unity Maps