Nekima Levy-Pounds on race relations in Minnesota Issues

University of St. Thomas law professor Nekima Levy-Pounds called on racial-justice advocates in St. Paul to keep raising awareness about Minnesota’s racial disparities at a Feb. 18, 2015, event. Laura Yuen | MPR News

You’re a law professor and mother. Do you experience this disparity firsthand?

I attended a business circle event at the Guthrie, and that event consisted of Mayor Betsy Hodges giving a presentation on equity in the city. And so prior to the event, there was a reception. I was at that reception, I sat in the corner, away from most people. I had a lot of people come over to that area. Well, several of the people, maybe three or four were African-American. That gave me the sense that there was racial diversity in the room. But once we moved into the auditorium, and I looked around, I realized that those three or four African-Americans who had approached me were the only other people of color in the room, besides myself. I could not believe it, given the conversation was about equity. I said how can we dare have a conversation about racial equity in the city of Minneapolis, and there are four or five people of color in the room.

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