About the program
Transportation has long been a part of historic inequality and systemic racism within the intersection of geography, land use, race and low-income communities. Across the US, the Interstate highway system constructed major highways through low-income and communities of color, leaving lasting impacts on wealth, health and opportunity. As part of the second year of the Artist in Residence pilot, a Transportation Equity (TE) Fellow will lead a creative process to reflect on MnDOT’s history, elevate communities’ voices with transportation planning and seek creative avenues for developing an equitable future in transportation in recognition of the Centennial of the trunk highway system in 2021. Every five years, MnDOT release a new Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan (SMTP), informing how a multimodal transportation system can maximize the health of people, the environment and our economy. The plan looks at all types of transportation, and evaluates the status of the transportation system, what’s changing, and how we’re going to move forward over the next twenty years. The Transportation Equity Fellow will lead MnDOT in a creative process to aid the visioning for this plan through storytelling and reflecting on MnDOT’s history.
The Transportation Equity Fellow will work will the Central Office, Office of Transportation System Management, the Office of Land Management and the Districts to reflect on the last 100 years of the trunk highway system and aid in telling multiple MnDOT stories to inform an equitable future in transportation. Elements of this position may include public engagement, telling of multiple stories from different perspectives and elevating the voices of communities. Creative projects could include hosting a series of events, story mapping, collecting first-person narratives, and other creative projects across the state.
Questions framing the fellowship
- How should the MnDOT’s many stories and histories be told? Who should be included in the MnDOT story of the last 100 years of the trunk highway system in Minnesota?
- How can thoughtful public engagement of historically underserved communities during project development and construction phases influence the outcome of projects?
- How can MnDOT develop relationships with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to inform the design and delivery of projects?
- Are internal policy, process and cultural enhancements needed to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive work environment at MnDOT?
- What do project managers need to know about Minnesota’s transportation history and its intersection with racial discrimination and systemic racism in transportation? How can project managers learn this history and incorporate its lessons into their work today?
- What culturally responsive approaches can MnDOT apply to technical projects to change how disparate communities are served by the trunk highway system and transportation more broadly?
- How can MnDOT play a role in the dismantling of systemic racism by using racial equity as a measure of success for all projects?