In the News: Dr. Yohuru Williams on the Racial Justice Initiative

Founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative Dr. Yohuru Williams spoke with Minnesota Monthly about the program and how it uses education to lift up marginalized communities.

From the article: Williams is aware of how institutions have kept Black people in second-class positions, and over the years, he’s worked to change that while serving on boards for organizations such as the YWCA St. Paul and Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul. Through RJI, he hopes to leverage the university’s research capacity and its ability to reach out to corporate partners. 

RJI’s success will come through a thousand different little things, he says. It will involve showing companies how to use their expertise to lift up marginalized communities in sustainable ways—rather than writing a check and hoping for the best. It will involve using 2022 to dive more deeply into one of RJI’s projects, a documentary on the history of Twin Cities policing from the 1960s onward. It may even mean changing RJI’s focus—but not its mission—as different root problems surge and resurge, such as housing.