Great River Landing: Better Futures Minnesota
At Better Futures Minnesota, we are more than a nonprofit providing a single service. We work to build healthy communities for more Minnesotans by operating at the intersection of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.
We envision a future where men who want to build a better life for themselves, can. A future where men, predominantly African American, returning from prison have the supports they need to stay out of prison. A future where men who want to succeed aren’t locked out of opportunities, but they have access to the fundamentals everyone needs to build a healthy, happy life for themselves and their family.
Yet we know it takes all of us, working together, to disrupt and end systemic racial barriers that keep men left out of opportunities to build a healthy life for themselves and their families.
African Americans represent only 5 percent of Minnesota’s population, yet they make up 31 percent of the state’s prison or jail population. These systemic, racial disparities represent a troublesome, growing trend in our state.
Across the country, men being released from these systems are not welcomed into the community. In states like Minnesota, they are prohibited from voting, prohibited from living in public housing, and they face significant barriers to employment and often remain isolated from the community.
Without systemic transformation and personal supports, nearly 60 percent will return to Minnesota prisons.
We know we must work to build fair, equitable systems that end the revolving door of Minnesota prisons and give everyone in Minnesota the opportunity to thrive.