Building an Anti-racist City During COVID

Clare Oumou Verbeten

Building an Anti-racist City During COVID

Clare Oumou Verbeten

From local government officials to philanthropic stakeholders to Living Cities staff, this story is one in a series that demonstrates the impact Living Cities has across the U.S. — connecting individuals and highlighting successful initiatives.

Clare Verbeten

Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at City of Saint Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota has some of the worst disparities between white and Black Americans, in terms of income and homeownership, yet St. Paul is a progressive beacon in the Midwest in part due to the city’s commitment to equity, innovation and resilience. In 2018, Mayor Carter established three new chief officer positions, which had never before existed, in order to help shape a structural shift in how we offer public services and address problem solving in St. Paul.

I’ve been a life-long, proud Minnesotan and am deeply invested in the city of St. Paul — joining as an official homeowner just last year with my husband. My work as the city’s Equity and Inclusion Program Manager started in 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic brought to light inequalities that have always existed, but have since been heightened.

This year, those of us in the city of St. Paul are excited to be a part of Living Cities’ Year of Reckoning cohort, connecting with others across the country that are working in the same space of reimagining and building anti-racist cities and society.

Saint Paul is an incredibly diverse community. We want Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and all communities of color to feel that Saint Paul is your home, your community


Latest Articles

Supporting and Growing Overlooked Entrepreneurs with Urban Innovation Fund

In 2012, Julie Lein and Clara Brenner started Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. Through their experience with Tumml, Julie and Clara saw how investors can overlook certain types of entrepreneurs, mostly women and people of color. Building on their experience, Lein and Brenner founded Urban Innovation Fund (UIF) as first-time …

1863 Ventures Seeks to Close the ‘Friends and Family’ Financing Gap for New Majority Entrepreneurs

Melissa Bradley understands how barriers to capital for entrepreneurs of color hurt our economy and our communities. “There is clearly a cost if we do not invest in diversity,” said Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures. “We miss out on great returns when we are not inclusive in our investment theses. There are opportunity costs for all of us.” She cites …

A Vision for Systemic Change in the Twin Cities: An Interview with Marcus Pope

JK:We’re celebrating your new role as President of Youthprise! Can you tell us a bit about Youthprise? MP: I’ll start by sharing Youthprise’s mission, which is to increase equity with and for Minnesota’s Indigenous, low income, and racially diverse youth. We take the “with and for” very seriously; half of our board members are young people between the ages of …

The Legacy of Wealth Inequities in the Brown and Flynn Families: A Hypothetical Exploration

The first post in a two-part series explores the potential of capital to undo the historical legacy of inequities. Race is a complex issue that continues to drive many of the socioeconomic outcomes in the US. For example, if you are a person of color born in the United States, your zip code is more of a predictor of your …

Get Updates

We want to stay in touch with you! Sign up for our email list to receive updates on the progress we’re making with our network of partners, as well as helpful resources and blog posts.