The Woodbury Anti-Racism Fund and Initiative is a collaborative approach to identifying and dismantling systemic racism in Woodbury. The initiative will specifically focus on action-oriented projects that influence individuals, systems and organizations in Woodbury to make meaningful changes addressing racial equity and find measurable solutions. We believe by taking action to build and engage white ally-ship in anti-racist work, we can remove barriers that contribute to inequality and prevent inclusion among our current and future residents of color.

Washington County recently declared Racism as a Public Health Crisis.[1] Woodbury’s population is increasingly diverse. Between 2000 and 2010, racial diversity in Woodbury increased from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to U.S. Census data. Woodbury’s percentage of non-whites is now among the highest in the Twin Cities.  Specifically, our work could build on the work that was done by the City of Woodbury through their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative from 2015-2019.[2]

The Woodbury Anti-Racism initiative will build cross-sector collaborations with the City of Woodbury, Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Public Health and other direct service partners. Our partnerships ensure we are not duplicating initiatives, but rather are building on the foundational work already done within our community. Our ability to help better coordinate and amplify community efforts is key to reducing silos and help us all move forward with greater long-term and measurable impact.

Our plan begins with research to identify the scope of local DEI initiatives of key stakeholders and conduct a Gap Analysis. We are looking to build communication channels to increase awareness and document change and fund projects and initiatives that will meet these challenges. Some current ideas:

  • Fund Small Businesses to participate in DEI trainings
  • Create Incentives for organizations which take steps to address DEI and Racism in their organizations  
  • Provide training for stakeholder groups 
  • Build specific social media campaigns that would continue to provide education/resources
  • Build database of local DEI Training and Resources 
  • Host and facilitate community stakeholder conversations to continue ongoing conversations and eliminate silos.
  • Ongoing research to measure progress.

As a Community Foundation, we are in a unique position to facilitate cross-cultural collaborations, maximize training and outreach efforts, and evaluate and refine ongoing efforts to ensure that our racial equity work can be successful over time.

We would look to collaborate in data collection, measurement and reporting with our community partners, to seek feedback from target audiences, and to measure our impact in response to a growing baseline of knowledge about how to reduce racial injustice, the successful reduction of identified barriers to racial justice, and a marked increase in the feeling of inclusion within our community by people of color. 

For more information contact:

Christie Denson
Woodbury Community Foundation
724 Bielenberg Drive Suite #129 Woodbury MN 55125
OFFICE: 651.505.7024 ext 7024
christiedenson@gmail.com


[1] https://mailchi.mp/6a5557aa3ce0/lhwcjune2020?e=be6f13c13e

[2] City of Woodbury DEI https://www.woodburymn.gov/administration/Inclusive%20and%20Welcoming%20Community%20Partnership%20Plan%202018-2019.pdf