George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020 ignited a wave of advocacy by Twin Cities organizations looking to improve the lives of people of color.
One of the initiatives, the nonprofit Wanton Injustice Legal Detail (WILD), was created by Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP). Developed and led by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP associate Darnell M. Cage and Cargill attorney Dadri-Anne Graham in 2020, WILD sought to actively play an advocacy role in combating racism and inequity in policing, education, voting rights and other activities.
Floyd’s death drove Cage and Graham, co-chairs of TCDIP’s Emerging Leaders Group, to develop an organization. “We have so much power as a collective to do something,” said Graham. “We’re in a field directly related to many things that can impact real change.”
Cage said creating a separate organization allowed better focus on six major issues he and other members had identified as critical such as housing, policing, voting rights, wealth access and education. “We quickly learned we didn’t know much about any of these things, so that’s why we started educating our people through listening sessions and other events,” he said.
The organization recruited partners such as Minnesota Public Radio, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Justice Alan Page and many others. Through listening sessions with mental health professionals, group members learned about the experiences of police brutality victims. WILD hosted a series on neighborhood safety, held a six-month “equity challenge” course studying racism in Minnesota, published voting rights information and did outreach for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ investigation into the Minneapolis police.
WILD also supports the Page Amendment, which aims to provide a quality education for all students and close the education gaps in Minnesota. A similar constitutional amendment in Florida seems to be working According to Graham, WILD’s supportive work of the Page Amendment “is a longer-term project.”
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