Taking on the task of racial healing around issues of policing, the Saint Paul Effective Diversity Partnerships in Policing project is a multi-year collaborative initiative of the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD), Amicus, and University of St. Thomas and Metropolitan State University researchers. The project began in 2007, with a small yet hugely successful pilot of the diversity training model, White Men as Full Diversity Partners. In a department where previous diversity training efforts had been perceived very negatively, all groups of officers – white men, women, and individuals of color – reported that the training had been a positive experience and made a difference in their attitudes and interactions with fellow officers and the public.
Funding is sought for an expanded pilot, providing training and follow-up groups to participants, including officers, local corporate leaders, as well as local leaders and activists from Saint Paul’s communities of color. This expansion will increase community awareness of this method of engaging white men in diversity issues, engage companies to participate along with officers in the full-scale training rollout, and create a cadre of business leaders, community leaders and police officers to serve as effective diversity partner-leaders to promote racial healing around difficult policing issues. At the close of the project, participants will reunite during a summit to share the findings and plan racial healing activities - creating better solutions for open dialogue and helping to create effective diversity partnerships in policing.