The ReCAST Minneapolis program is a citywide initiative focusing on the nineteen neighborhoods in North, South and Cedar-Riverside areas. While the qualifying event that enabled the City of Minneapolis to apply for the grant was rooted in North Minneapolis, the need to address community trauma and resiliency is necessary in all areas of Minneapolis.
- Building a foundation to promote well-being, resiliency, and community healing through community-based participatory approaches.
- Creating more equitable access to trauma-informed community behavioral health resources.
- Strengthening the integration of behavioral health services and other community systems to address the social determinants of health, recognizing that factors, such as law enforcement practices, transportation, employment, and housing policies, can contribute to health outcomes.
- Creating community change through community based, participatory approaches that promote community and youth engagement, leadership, development, improved governance, and capacity building.
- Ensuring that program services are culturally specific and developmentally appropriate.
- Increasing the capacity of first point of contact staff and trusted community partners to provide trauma-informed service and care.
On November 15, 2015, Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) responded to a call on the City's North Side that resulted in an altercation and the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark by a responding officer. Mr. Clark was a 24-year-old African American male resident of North Minneapolis. A rally called by community members began in the afternoon of November 15 at the shooting scene, and continued into the evening a few blacks away outside MPD's 4th Precinct location. The following day, 100 demonstrators moved across Interstate 94, where they linked arms and blocked traffic lanes for more than two hours. Demonstrators then set up an occupation outside MPD's 4th Precinct. On November 18, police moved to disperse the demonstrators camped inside the vestibule of the 4th Precinct station, which led to a night of remonstration that sometimes turned violent. On November 23, five demonstrators were shot during a confrontation with several men at the encampment outside of the 4th Precinct, in what witnesses described as a racially motivated attack. On November 24, nearly 1,000 people marched to City Hall in solidarity with the protest over Mr. Clark's death. On December 3, MPD and City workers dismantled the occupation encampment in front of the 4th Precinct. The occupation of the 4th Precinct lasted a total of 18 days.
The Jamar Clark incident put Minneapolis into the national conversation about race, policing, and police/community relations. It also elevated ongoing local conversations about racial equity and disparities, and residents’ trust in law enforcement and the judicial system. The shooting, the 18-day occupation of the MPD 4th Precinct, and months of investigation have increased the stress and trauma of residents, who have shared feelings of alienation, hurt, anger, disappointment, and frustration.
But the roots of this issue are far deeper than a singular event in time. Structural racism as manifested through policy decisions from officials at all levels of government contribute to the very conditions that produce stress and trauma in within communities of marginalized people. In Minneapolis, the impact of structural racism and the resulting stress and trauma it produced is most evident with Native American people and within our Black community.
The impact of this trauma is felt inside the City enterprise as well. First point of contact staff were directly impacted by Jamar Clark’s shooting and the resulting occupation. For staff members who aren’t constituent-facing, but have close connections to these communities, the impact was also severe. These events helped to clarify even further the work we need to be doing as an enterprise to ensure our staff have the resources to treat and prevent trauma, the reality of systemic racism, and as well as to deepen our understanding of how government shows up in marginalized communities so we don’t further traumatize community in the course of doing our jobs.
Last updated Jul 24, 2017