Hebrew 11:1

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NRSV)

If you’ve led or been a part of an ISAIAH event, you know we talk a lot about casting a bold vision for the world we’re creating. There’s a lot of strategic narrative reasons and political reasons why we do this, but let’s hit the pause button on all that for a moment.

This last year has been wild.

Of course, you don’t need another email telling you that like you don’t already know it. But it’s worth mentioning here because it’s in moments of ongoing intensity when it can become the hardest to remain grounded in the bold visions and things we hope for and why those visions even matter.

As people of the faith, we should continue to reflect on the work we’re doing together to create a more just and abundant state. The visions we have for our families and our communities are not separate from our faith. They are our faith. The convinctions we hold about making a Minnesota where we can all thrive, the kind of prophetic imagination we explore in community with one another, and the trust we have in a God in motion helping to make it happen is the unfolding and flourishing of our faith.

So throughout this legislative session and from the all things happening that you’ll read about below, know that we are moving by and through our faith together. And that’s a pretty good place to be.

Qu’ran Reflection

“Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of those who respect the limits of Allah and those who violate them is that of people who board a ship after casting lots, some of them residing in its upper deck and others in its lower deck. When those in the lower deck want water, they pass by the upper deck and say: If we tear a hole in the bottom of the ship, we will not harm those above us. If those in the upper deck let them do what they want, they will all be destroyed together. If they restrain them, they will all be saved together.”Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2361”

The Prophet’s lesson in the above example is vital to reflect upon, and especially relate it to these testing times.

The privilege and the unprivileged share a communal space, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned. In the collective space, both the upper & lower deck must be clear about their struggles to stay afloat in the same space. For the upper deck, their struggle is being clear of their own stakes to ensure that the lower deck passengers are well cared for, and that would be the first step for all of us to live up to God’s commandments. Abiding by God’s law will allow all of us to live a dignified life where we can enjoy the gifts and blessings that Allah gave us individually.

We often take our good health, sight, hearing, children, wealth, and countless other blessings for granted. But truly, the successful one among us acknowledges the gifts that Allah gave us, and is grateful, also finds more opportunities to utilize his God-given gifts by grasping the purpose of their existence and hereby submit themselves to Allah. These difficult times of COVID-19, racial unrest, housing crises, and the denial of not being stewards of our lands will affect our collective space. Now, more than ever, it is important to be self-reflective on our gifts because our existence would not be without the Mercy of Allah.

Capitol Updates

Paid Family & Medical Leave Advances through the House

HF 1200, which would create a statewide program that would allow up 12 weeks off, to care for themselves or loved ones, continues through the House and passed in the Commerce Finance and Policy Committee today!

But it still needs to move through the Minnesota Senate. Contact your State Senator and ask them to a champion for PFML. Visit this page to find our who your state senator is, their contact information, and find a sample script to use.

Universal Childcare Affordability 

On Tuesday, we held a press conference on the Universal Affordability Bill HF1278 with Minnesota House Representatives Dave Pinto and Liz Boldon. This bill, along with HF1024, paints the big vision of the kind of childcare system we need to build so that every family—no matter what they look like or what’s in their wallets—has access to the care they need and all early childhood teachers make a living wage.

Kids Count On Us Lobby Day

Every child in Minnesota—regardless of race, creed, or location—deserves to thrive. We are showing up big with our legislators this year for the fully funded childcare system we need. Providers, teachers, and family members from centers across the state and supporters will come together virtually to share stories about experiences in childcare and demand the funding and voice at the table we know we need.

Moving Forward for Our Families: Paid Family & Medical Leave Continues Through MN House

Last week, Paid Family & Medical Leave (HF 1200) passed in the State Government Finance Committee! Minnesotans across race, geography, and income (including legislators) testified to say why now more than ever we need a robust statewide paid leave policy.

Monday, on International Women’s Day, ISAIAH leaders held PFML and Childcare Lobby visits to talk advance a bold agenda with their state legislators that allows our families to thrive and corrects inequities Minnesotans face to access childcare and paid leave.

Today, HF 1200 was passed in the Commerce Finance and Policy Committee!


We need the Senate to be champions for a robust statewide, paid family and medical leave policy. Call your senator today! You can find out who your senator is, locate their phone number, and use a sample script here.

Creating a Department of Early Childhood

Brain science shows that so much wondrous and crucial growth happens in the prenatal to five years. ISAIAH’s support for a Department of Early Childhood emerged from an 18-month participatory research process in partnership with Education Minnesota’s Educator Policy Innovation Center, EPIC. Read the EPIC report here.

We believe it is time to modernize the state’s administrative structure. Having a single department with a cabinet-level commissioner of early childhood is an essential component to create the focus and accountability that our youngest Minnesotans need.

Be sure to watch the MN House Human Services Committee hearing, featuring ISAIAH’s Kids Count On Us member and child care provider Debra Messenger (22min mark). This hearing showcased the need and legislator enthusiasm for this important department.
Stay tuned for more ways to support this effort!

Minneapolis Caucus Training

We want to invite YOU (and your friends, neighbors, family, church members, or anyone else you know in Minneapolis) to join us at an upcoming virtual event to:

Discuss public safety & rent stabilization, specifically what is in the proposed charter amendments with space for questions
Dig into why caucuses are so essential this year
Get trained concretely on how the virtual caucus process will work
Share resources and a mission to invite more people into this effort with us
Learn more and sign up here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QRus-0JzhQNdpVMF-yDIbWws4olq-IeVyNoxWTEP1Do/edit

Upcoming Race Class Narrative Trainings

A place to call home is a human need we all share. Wednesday, ISAIAH and Young Adult Coalition leaders testified in support of the Minneapolis Rent Control Charter Amendments so that regardless of what we look like or have in our wallets, we are treated with dignity and allowed stability. #WhoCaresForUs

We Make MN Deliver Black Dreams Panel & Book Discussion

Join Black Women Rising, ISAIAH and Author of “First & Only: A Black Women’s Guide to Thriving at work and in life”, in a conversation about the impact Black women have on the trajectory of our communities, state and country. We’ll discuss Farmer’s book, digging into the multifaceted ways Black women lead in society the work place – leveraging boldness and audacity – and the ways we can and are making more possible in public and political spaces.