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I am driven to train activists to develop new policies for social change

Our communities face urgent problems of racial and ethnic economic inequality. They have to do with the criminal justice system, with earnings, with home ownership, and more.

Samuel Myers gives activists tools to shape real solutions to these deeply connected problems.

Defining the underlying problem

Samuel Myers Jr.

“What’s missing is the clear articulation of the relationship between the solution and the underlying problem.”

Samuel Myers, Professor

Shaping real solutions

We need specific tools, Myers says—to forecast costs and consequences, to monitor and evaluate results, and to weigh criteria and recommend sound policy.

A problem with massive influence

Owning a home is something that the vast majority of people in Minnesota embrace as a cultural value. Yet when we look at North Minneapolis, about 85 percent of the people there are renters. “We have a big gap,” Myers says. “I’m not talking about 1,000 miles away. This is right in our neighborhood.”

This may sound like a small problem, yet it has massive influence.

People owning homes means a stable neighborhood
A stable neighborhood means help with homework
Help with homework means higher test scores
Higher test scores means more graduations
More graduations means people with jobs
People with jobs means stronger families
Stronger families means people owning homes
the importance of owning a home

Roy Wilkins Community Fellows Program: an intensive introduction to policy analysis

“Whatever happens, if someone gets shot in Falcon Heights, then that will be discussed in the program.” Samuel Myers

Why the University of Minnesota?

“The University of Minnesota—it’s not just the university. It’s the state, with deeply rooted values supporting the idea of egalitarianism.”Samuel Myers
“I’ve had the fortune of having a lot of different experiences in the community. Working through the Roy Wilkins Program, I feel like my efforts are in a good place.”Alejandra Diaz, Research Assistant