Neeraj Mehta

Director of Community Programs
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
Neeraj Mehta, director of community programs, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, focused on equitable neighborhood revitalization. Trained as civil engineer, he now works on community development issues, through philanthropy, community development and community organizing. Neeraj has a M.A. in public affairs from the Humphrey School and was a 2011-2013 Bush Leadership Fellow. He is passionate about building racially and economically just communities, especially in North Minneapolis where he lives with his family.

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

OUR MPLS: A Community-Led City Report Card on Racial Equity

The OUR MPLS partnership of 25 community organizations working on racial equity issues first came together after the 2013 Minneapolis elections to develop a racial equity agenda for the city. In early 2014, they shared their agenda with the newly elected mayor and other elected leaders, many of whom ran on a racial equity platform. Two years later, Minneapolis still faces some of the worst disparities in the nation in employment, education, incarceration, and more. The city made national headlines for the shooting death of an African American man by Minneapolis police, and the community response through sustained protests and calls for changes in policy and practice. The OUR MPLS partners came together in January 2016 to announce the development of a community-led racial equity report card on the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, and the Minneapolis Public Schools that will be released in the Fall of 2016. This is the first city-level report card on racial equity and builds on Voices' 10-year history of producing the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity. This session will offer the chance to learn about the process of developing the report card, the methodology, and the importance of community-driven research in changing narratives, driving policy change, and holding elected officials accountable for racial equity commitments and leadership. The session will offer practical advice, a methodology template, and the inspiration for local grassroots organizers to lead similar strategies in their communities.

Speakers: Vina Kay, Neeraj Mehta, Ashley Fairbanks