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Flexing Our Power to Make Real Change: 19th Annual It’s Time to Talk

By YWCA Minneapolis
October 29, 2021
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More than 680 people from the Twin Cities and across the country joined us for the 19th annual It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™, an event that brings together diverse leaders from business, education, arts and community service to move Minnesota forward through honest conversation about race and racism.

Joining With Open Hearts and Minds

People come to this event with open hearts and minds to engage in dialogue across our differences. This event helps us examine our biases, learn new perspectives and practice having difficult conversations — all of which are desperately needed if we are to work toward systemic change together. We hope people who joined us re-energized their commitments to racial justice and equity work,” said Shelley Carthen Watson, YWCA Minneapolis president and CEO.

Ijeoma Oluo

Author of “So You Want to Talk About Race”

This year’s event featured nationally renowned writer, speaker and internet yeller Ijeoma Oluo as the keynote speaker. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, “So You Want to Talk About Race,” and most recently, “Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America.” She was named to the 2021 TIME 100 Next list and has twice been named to the Root 100. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association.

Ms. Oluo presented an invigorating, eye-opening speech, urging the audience to investigate our privileges so that we know where we can flex our power to make real change.

Facilitated Dialogues: Meaningful Conversations for Change

One unique feature of this event is the engaging dialogues that attendees participate in. Trained facilitators lead small groups in honest, meaningful conversations about lived experiences of race and racism in Minnesota.

Over 100 trained Racial Justice facilitators make this possible. One facilitator remarked: “I’ve been facilitating with It’s Time to Talk for over 10 years. The training and experiences through YWCA Minneapolis have helped me grow my understanding and practice of racial justice.”

Developing Skills Around Inclusion and Equity

The strength of our future depends on our ability to develop new skills around inclusion and equity, understand the realities of racism today and commit ourselves to action. We thank all the participants who joined us for It’s Time to Talk this year; a very special thank you to our event sponsors whose support made this event possible, including Presenting Sponsor Ecolab, Human Rights Sponsors Bush Foundation and Comcast, and Partner Sponsor McKinsey & Company.

Learn More about YWCA Racial Justice Programs