State Senator Nick Frentz hosted a virtual town hall on racial equity with state and local officials. During the discussion, Mankato Mayor Najwa Massad said she had an eye-opening experience when talking about diversity with a young woman.

Massad, “And she looked at me and said, you don’t know what it’s like to be black. And I did like most people and I got on the defense and said what do you mean, I don’t see you as different, I see you like everybody else. And she said you don’t see when we go to the grocery store, everybody looks at us like we’re going to steal something.”

Massad is the first woman elected mayor of Mankato.

Mankato’s Director of Public Safety, Amy Vokal says we need to listen to others.

Vokal, “Now is the time to sit back and listen to people of color and say what can we do.”

100 people joined the Zoom call, the max they could hold. Anisa Omar, the former student president of MSU Mankato said one thing we all can do is encourage people of color to run for office and join leadership roles throughout local organizations.