Going strong two years since forming coalition
The Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity (MBCRE) was formed two years ago in recognition of and response to the murder of George Floyd. Companies across the state of Minnesota, including General Mills, banded together and committed to do more – support efforts, lift up and help change the trajectory of systemic racism in our communities.
We sat down with Tiffani Daniels, managing director for MBCRE, to reflect on where we’ve been and what lies ahead.
Tell me about the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity.
After the murder of George Floyd, leaders from more than 75 business organizations came together to use their collective resources to address systemic racism. We have four pillars – Workplace, Philanthropy, Policy and Allyship -- that meet bi-weekly, along with member organizations that gather quarterly at our All Hands meeting to work towards an equitable, inclusive, and prosperous state with and for Black residents. We focus specifically on improved outcomes for the Black community in our state while honoring existing work already being done in the community.
What is your role with the organization? How has your career experience at General Mills and in brand management specifically prepared you for your work in MBCRE?
As the inaugural Managing Director for MBCRE and the only full-time employee, I am responsible for building the organization’s strategy, structure, and operational plans to address racial disparities in the state of Minnesota.
I was so intrigued by this role because it allowed me to put many of the skills I had built as a brand builder and general manager into practice. From the day I started at General Mills seven years ago, I was expected to lead - lead when I had low knowledge, lead through highly ambiguous situations and lead while I was learning a new category or space. My time at MBCRE has been similar. I am being exposed to new areas like the non-profit sector in Minnesota, the legislature and so many others so it is a lot of learning and leading at the same time.
MBCRE is a start-up, so the entrepreneurial principles from my time in General Mills’ G-works program and the experiences I had on small, low-resource brands are very helpful. A few years ago, I had the chance to lead a change initiative across North American Retail (NAR), so I pull from that experience every day as well.
What are some of the projects you are working on?
During this 2022 legislative session, we identified agenda priorities for members to support. We hired Fredrikson & Byron as our government relations partner to amplify our efforts and help us build the right connections in the legislature. I have been excited by the ways we can use our 75 member companies to amplify the issues related to Black Minnesotans. For example, we spoke out and encouraged members to reach out to their representatives via phone calls or email in support of Minnesota’s iteration of the CROWN Act, which has passed in more than a dozen states.