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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Minnesota Women's Political Caucus Announces Phase 2 of the Diversity Outreach Project

I used to be on the board of MWPC, but am no longer. Here is their press release on this:

***News Release***
Contact: For Immediate Release

Keesha Gaskins July 13, 2007

651-228-0995

Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus

Announces Phase 2 of Diversity Outreach Project

Women from State’s Four Primary Racial/Ethnic Groups Needed for Focus Groups;

Goal Is to Identify Issues of Concern, Influences on Political Activity

Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus Education Council (MWPC-EC), the multi-partisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed office, is kicking off Phase 2 of its Diversity Outreach Project (DOP), funded by the Bremer Foundation and the Women’s Foundation.

The DOP was initiated in 2006 to increase the number of women of color running for office at all levels. Its long-term objective is to increase the number of women of color in public office.

Phase 2 will comprise a series of focus groups, to be held in July, with women from Minnesota ’s four primary racial/ethnic communities: Hmong, Latino, African-American, and Native-American. Groups will be held in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Willmar, and Austin to ascertain the various levels of political participation that exist in each community, reasons for varying levels of participation, potential strategies for enhancing participation, subjects of concern to each community and potential ways these subjects can be addressed. (A complete list of these focus groups, with their dates and locations, is attached.) MWPC will issue a report on its findings in September 2007.

“Clearly there is a range of political participation among women from all racial and ethnic communities in Minnesota ,” said Keesha Gaskins, MWPC executive director. “The difference is that no woman of color has ever served in Minnesota ’s Congressional delegation. No woman of color has been elected to statewide office. Only three have served in the Minnesota State Legislature. We want to better understand what influences a woman of color to become a voter if she’s currently a non-voter, to become an activist if she’s currently a voter and, potentially, to eventually become a candidate for office.”

As part of Phase 2, MWPC hired Rebecca McDonald as the new Project Manager. Rebecca is a 2007 summa cum laude graduate of the College of St. Catherine and a winner of the 2007 Student Leadership Award, 2007 Research and Creative Work Award from the Abigail Q. McCarthy Center for Women, 2007 Isabel Donaldson Public Speaking Award, and 2007 Sister Alberta Huber Intercultural Award from the College of St. Catherine . Women interested in participating in a focus group can contact Rebecca at 651.228.0995 or rmcdonald@mnwpc.org.

During Phase 1 of the DOP, MWPC has been building a Diversity Outreach Committee of both recognized and emerging women leaders from each of the four primary racial/ethnic communities and working with them on an outreach plan for the program. During Phase 2, the Committee will contribute to an action plan informed by focus group findings.

For 36 years, MWPC has been working to increase the number of women in elected and appointed office. It is a grassroots, multi-partisan organization that works to identify, recruit, train and support pro-choice women candidates. MWPC seeks to be an expert resource for women in Minnesota and women candidates supporting women's issues. Its goal is equality and equal representation for women at all levels of government.

Visit MWPC online: www.mnwpc.org.


FOCUS GROUP INFORMATION

African American Women
Saturday, July 14
11:00am - 12:30pm

St. Paul
Martin Luther King Center
271 Mackubin St.

African American Women
Tuesday, July 17
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Minneapolis
Sabathani Community Center
310 E 38th St

Hmong Women
Wednesday, July 18
11:00am - 12:30pm
St. Paul
Hmong American Partnership
1075 Arcade St

Native American Women
Thursday, July 19
11:00am - 12:30pm

Minneapolis
American Indian Center
1530 E Franklin Ave

Hmong Women
Saturday, July 21
11:00am - 12:00pm

St. Paul
Hmong American Partnership
1075 Arcade St

African Immigrant Women
Monday, July 23
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Minneapolis
Brian Coyle Center
420 15th Ave S

African Immigrant Women
Wednesday, July 25
11:00am - 12:00pm

Rochester
United Way Building
903 W Center St.

Latina Women
Thursday, July 26
11:00am - 12:30pm

St. Paul
Neighborhood House
179 Robie St E

African Immigrant Women
Saturday July, 28
Minneapolis

3:30pm – 5:00pm
Brian Coyle Center
420 15th Ave S

Latina Women
Monday, July 30
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Austin
Austin Welcome Center
308 4th Ave NW

Native American Women
Wednesday, August 1
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Minneapolis
Indian Women’s Resource Center
2300 - 15th Avenue South

Latina Women
Thursday, August 2
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Willmar
Willmar Public Library
410 5th St SW
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