August 11, 2021

A History by Julie Quist

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The following information is an important part of answering the question, how did critical race theory become so far advanced into Minnesota?

First it is important to understand that the principle of ‘Equity’ is another word for Critical Race Theory (CRT). ‘Equity,’ as in CRT, defines the struggle between races as the central operating principle of human history. All people are categorized into oppressor and oppressed identity groups. Equity requires that identity groups must have equal outcomes. Equity mandates outcomes by racial groups, as well as by other social identity groups. Under equity, any disparity between groups is evidence of racism and oppression. Equity treats individuals unequally so that equal identity group outcomes may be achieved.

Organizations have been operating to accomplish Equity within Minnesota over many years, even decades.

This blueprint is driving policies and programs throughout Minnesota’s local jurisdictions and is driving state legislation and state administrative policies and practices. Whether economic development, transportation, land planning, water, agriculture, industry, housing, childcare, education, environmental justice, etc., it is grounded in the paradigm of ‘equity’ or equal outcomes based on identity (race, gender, sexuality, economic status, age). This is the real ‘systemic’ racism. It is fundamentally a Marxist paradigm, and it is compliant with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Below is a summary of Minnesota’s regional government system.  Minnesota was early to organize these entities. 

  1. Regional Development Commissions (since 1969)
    These nine Regional Development Commissions (RDC) are state government organized and funded, initially established to utilize federal grants for development programs that crossed city/county/township boundaries. See the MADO for a map, websites and contact information for these MN RDCs.

    The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Commerce provided funding for economic development agencies across the United States. In response to this, the state legislature created an act for the development of regional development commissions in areas where existing planning organizations did not exist.” (Wikipedia quote)

    RDCs create, organize, and execute plans by unelected bureaucrats, overseen by unelected boards that are made up of individuals chosen from elected local city councils, township boards, county commissioners, and local school boards and their appointed administrations. The plans are then sent back to the local jurisdictions to be rubber-stamped. The RDCs also accept a steady supply of grants from state government programs and from numerous nonprofits. RDCs have access to many resources.

    “Anti-government sentiment led to the dissolution of some regional development commissions. These included Region 4 in western Minnesota, Region 7W near the center of the state and Region 10 which consisted of the 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota. Region 4 designated the non-profit organization West Central Initiative to become their de facto Regional Development Organization in 1984 and it was designated as a federal development agency in 1985 for the same area.” (Wikipedia quote, emphasis added)

    The Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO) ties the RDCs together so that they are working collaboratively on the same agenda. A description of what the RDCs do is available on the MADO website.

  2. Minnesota Service Cooperatives (since 1976) which followed the same boundaries as the RDCs
    The nine Minnesota Service Cooperatives (MSC), led primarily by Sourcewell, are state government organized and established to provide services to local jurisdictions to implement the plans and policies of city councils, township boards, county commissioners, and local school boards and their appointed administrations. The MSCs are also run by appointments, many from local jurisdictions, and accept a steady supply of grants from state government programs and from various nonprofits. Regional Co-ops have access to lots of resources. In many communities, city, county, and school responsibilities are outsourced to them with the local jurisdictions paying them to do it: hiring teachers, training administrators, setting up ‘welcoming committees,’ staffing ‘welcoming committees,’ ordering curriculum, teaching cultural competency, etc.For example, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a program tied in directly to the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs). Sourcewell implements the UN SDG goals in the local business community. While STEM are clearly important education programs, planning and administering our local STEM programs should not be orchestrated through a global UN planning agency which has global governance as its ultimate goal. See Sustainable Development Goals in STEM Education and Wanted: Local business leaders, educators, & community membersSchools outsource their responsibilities to the Minnesota School Co-ops who incorporate the Equity content into its materials, including the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program. See Sourcewell’s 2029-2020 Program Guide (PDF). SEED teaches some of the most radical, anti-American “systemic racism” materials.

    “SEED (Seeking educational equity and diversity) is a peer-led professional development program promoting change and building capacity for more equitable curriculum, schools, and communities. Trained SEED leader and Sourcewell education consultant Rachel Logan hosts seminars for local educators where they can challenge their own personal beliefs and practices and connect with other educators.”  Sourcewell’s Equity Vision, SEED Seminars

    Many of the school programs bypass the curriculum altogether making it difficult for parents and concerned citizens to follow their tracks. School boards will often block access to records of programs like SEED.

  3. In the Mid-1980’s the McKnight Foundation established six Minnesota Initiative Foundations throughout greater Minnesota
    These Initiative Foundations are a massive nonprofit network that drive local policy and initiatives for land use, schools, childcare, transportation, economic development, etc. They have huge impact on setting local plans and priorities.For example, the McKnight Foundation is deep pockets for funding advocacy for all of the Big Green project. McKnight is one of the big Minnesota nonprofits that funds leftist organizations through their grant programs. Yet they are directing local government development through their Initiative organizations. See Talk About Bad Timing: McKnight Foundation Announces Big Green Giveaway One Day Before Jamie Long Scandal Breaks and McKnight Foundation will double Down on greener-economy grants.

These entities operate from an ‘equity’ agenda and interact together as a powerful, well-funded, unrecognized network of government transformation: legislative, city governments, counties, and schools. The plans they put together for local jurisdictions are all compliant with the UN SDG Agenda 2030 formerly Agenda 21. Minnesota has organized all of Minnesota government around the SDGs. See Addendum Growth and Justice describes bringing these entities together to create the state plans for ‘Equity.’ Together they have created a Rural Minnesota Equity Action Guide published in April 2021 based on the Equity Blueprint. Their Action Guide (PDF) is especially focused on Welcoming Communities, a program straight out of the UN that is created to transform communities.

A report from Regional Solutions for Rural and Urban Challenges, titled Minnesota Case Study, 2019 clarifies these interrelationships:

Local Collaboration and Functional Ecosystems: Interviews with five regional development organizations in different parts of the state confirm a high level of collaboration on local economic development projects. These regional entities operate in an environment where each county usually has its own economic development staff as do many cities and towns. Often these local entities will initiate an economic development project, for example assisting an existing business with expansion. The MIFs [Initiative Foundations] and the RDCs are rural development hubs. They are adept at bringing together the resources, expertise, and partners necessary for the local project to succeed. Partners span a full spectrum of public, private, and non-profit organizations in a wide span of issue areas. The MIFs and RDCs have helped construct support ecosystem that generally seems to function effectively.”

“Meanwhile, the regional entities are also focused on systemic problems that inhibit economic growth and vitality, such as housing, workforce development and childcare as mentioned earlier. On these region-wide issues, there also generally appears to be strong collaboration among the different actors.”

In that same report, Growth & Justice describes Welcoming Communities this way.

“Workforce and Welcoming Communities: The RDCs and the Initiative Foundations have been strengthening the capacities of rural communities to address local resistance to changing race, ethnicity, and culture. This work is often conducted under the rubric of “Welcoming Communities” – events, programs, and outreach to help communities understand and accept these new residents. Workforce shortages have often led the business community to participate in the broader Welcoming Community efforts.” (emphasis added)

“Foundation Influence: Our sense is that the more progressive foundations have been influential in moving regional development organizations towards equity. Blandin has a training program called “Leadership in Ethnically Diverse Communities” to increase the capacity of rural leaders to develop inclusive communities and reduce systemic racial and cultural barriers. It has funded innovative programs such as Region 5 Development Commission’s pioneering Welcoming Communities work. More generally, as a funder of development organizations in Greater Minnesota, it can communicate its perspective and help them learn cultural competence skills.”

Also, Growth and Justice see themselves opposed to the local community activism that has become a stumbling block.

Political and Cultural Divides: Nearly all the interviews touched on the political and cultural divides in the state or their region, analogous to the toxic national political climate. Rural Minnesota is going through significant cultural and demographic changes, often precipitating a backlash. The problem extends to urban areas where liberal residents are quick to dismissively characterize Greater Minnesota as “Trump country.” Rural practitioners acknowledge how difficult their work has become because of highly vocal conservative activists. Although urban-rural coalition building should be possible given commonalities of interest, it is difficult to negotiate in a climate of stark political division.” (emphasis added)

Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO) policy agenda illustrates collaboration at a state-wide level. Prior to the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint, MADO undertook a two-year process to craft a Greater Minnesota policy agenda called Develop MN.  It synthesizes the CEDS plans of the 10 RDCs, supplemented by data analysis, review of national best practice and meetings with state and local economic development organizations, philanthropic foundations, local governments, state and local elected officials, the business community, and educational institutions. The final strategy is built around four cornerstones: 1.) human capital, 2.) economic competitiveness, 3.) community resources (local values and social, cultural, and natural assets), and 4.) foundational assets (such as infrastructure).

Presently, has been organized to bring all of this together under one roof.  OneMN’s purpose is:

    • To engage and empower Minnesotans to establish shared sustainable prosperity for all Minnesotans
    • org will establish a network of individuals and organizations working to keep Minnesota open, inclusive, welcoming, innovative and creative
    • org will be a Research-based, Advocacy, and Communications project to provide public policy recommendations that support and propel racial, social and economic equity throughout state, county, local governments, agencies and corporations.
    • org will adopt strategies to grow the economic assets of the ALANA communities.MN Governor Walz set up, on day two of his administration, One Minnesota Council on Inclusion and Equity to implement all of the above.

Summary: This is how the Marxist-driven ‘equity’ has been deeply embedded into our state one step at a time through radical organizations with power and direct access to government bureaucrats, unelected officials, bypassing the will and accountability of the people.



Sustainable Development: The Very Idea

UN Sustainable Development Comprehensive Planning Instituted in Minnesota in 1993
by Governor Arne Carlson

Published in 1998 


A commitment is made

In 1992, the United States and nearly 180 other nations met at the “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and agreed that sustainable development should be the goal and operating principle for governments, businesses and individuals around the world. At this meeting, heads of state from more than 150 nations, including the United States, committed to an ambitious plan called Agenda 21, which asks each country to develop a national strategy for sustainable development. In the United States, that commitment led to the establishment of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, a group of corporate executive officers, Cabinet members and other civic leaders who have produced a blueprint for action. Agenda 21 has since been used to guide similar public-private efforts at national, state and local levels.

Governor Arne H. Carlson, the Environmental Quality Board and the commissioner of Trade and Economic Development, launched the Minnesota Sustainable Development Initiative in 1993. The initiative is staffed by Minnesota Planning.

Minnesota policy changes include:

  • Chapter 454, Minnesota Laws of 1996, which requires all state agencies, departments and boards to assess how well their missions and programs reflect and implement the Round Table’s principles of sustainable development or how they could be changed to do so.
  • Community-Based Planning Act of 1997, which lays out 11 goals that define a framework for community-based comprehensive planning.
  • Promote a more sustainable economy and society

Launch a visioning and planning process to chart the community’s future. The Community-Based Planning Act encourages communities to voluntarily plan for their future and offers technical assistance. For more information, contact Minnesota Planning at 612-296-3985.

Such a process could include establishing a long-term community vision; describing the community’s environmental, economic and social conditions, trends and assets; producing short- and long-term goals in these three areas; establishing indicators to measure progress; and producing implementation strategies and action steps for reaching the goals.