MPR News has partnered with APM Research Lab to tune in to the perspectives and opinions of Minnesotans across the state, with a special focus on voices less often included in the mainstream narrative. The resulting Minnesota’s Diverse Communities survey reached more than 1,500 residents with intentional outreach to gain valuable perspectives from racial and ethnic groups across the state. The survey data is available to the public with the goal of increasing awareness of perspectives across Minnesota’s communities. Additionally, the data will be used by local news outlets across the state through reporting partnerships with MPR News.
Launched in April 2021, the Minnesota’s Diverse Communities survey provides an ear to the communities MPR is working to reach in new and meaningful ways. It also offers perspectives that help MPR authentically serve these audiences, creating content that represents them and resonates with them. In turn, more robust reporting about and in these communities informs Minnesota about the views and perspectives of all its community members.
Topics covered in the survey questions include:
- COVID-19 information and vaccines
- Police, courts and safety
- Quality of life
- Arts and culture
- Media/news outlets
- Trust in institutions
- Public k-12 education
This week, MPR News reported on the survey findings related to trust in police. Key insights in this area include:
- A strong majority of white Minnesotans (71 percent) report that they trust the police in Minnesota to do what is right just about always or most of the time, compared to only 43 percent of BIPOC Minnesotans. Among BIPOC Minnesotans, the percentage trusting the police varies: 60 percent among Asians, 51 percent among Latinx, 43 percent among Indigenous, and 21 percent among Black Minnesotans.
- Over half of Indigenous and Black Minnesotan adults report that they have personally experienced police discrimination due to their race or ethnicity. This compares to 30 percent of Latinx Minnesotans, 24 percent of Asian Minnesotans, and 5 percent of white Minnesotans.
- Sixty-five percent of white Minnesotans think that the Minnesota courts and justice system just about always or most of the time treat members of their racial group fairly compared to slightly more than one-fifth of BIPOC Minnesotans (22 percent). Among BIPOC Minnesotans, the percentage indicating that they typically receive fair treatment by the courts ranges from 34 percent among Asians and 27 percent among Latinx Minnesotans, to only 11 percent of Black and 10 percent of Indigenous Minnesotans.
Craig Helmstetter of the APM Research Lab provided some helpful background of the survey:
Unlike nearly all surveys of Minnesotans, this one includes strong representation of the state’s Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian populations, including a large sample of the state’s single largest Asian ethnic group, Hmong Minnesotans. Note that while we are proud of accomplishing this level of representation, we would love for this survey to inspire funding for additional research (by us or others) with many other ethnic groups, including representative samples of Asian Indians, Somalis or any of the Native nations located within the state’s boundaries, just to name a few.
Over the next several weeks, in conjunction with partners at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) News and elsewhere, we will be diving into the many topics covered by the survey, including policing and the courts, COVID-19, feelings of inclusion (or lack thereof), experiences with discrimination (or lack thereof), news media consumption, trust in institutions, public K-12 education, and experiences with arts and cultural opportunities[….]
The Minnesota’s Diverse Communities survey builds directly on some of the work being done by our broader organization. In 2019, MPR came together with several partners (including the Minnesota Humanities Center, KMOJ, Pillsbury United Communities, ThreeSixty Journalism at the University of St. Thomas, and Hamline University) to form a learning collaborative and ultimately host the Truth and Transformation conference, which centered around improving the way BIPOC communities are covered by local news media.
More recently, under the leadership of Director of Community Impact and Engagement Ka Vang, MPR convened a series of listening sessions with Indigenous and communities of color throughout the state. Some of what we have learned through these conversations directly informed the questions that we included in the survey.Minnesota is rapidly becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. We hope that the results of this survey will help Minnesotans better understand and appreciate one another. We also know, however, that surveys are only one method of learning about a community. Therefore, we hope that the results serve as a catalyst for additional research, improved reporting, and both broader and deeper public dialogue about the racial and ethnic issues confronting the state. You can find MPR News’ first story on the APM Research Lab results here.