The “Amplifying Black Voices Project,” a short video series featuring the experiences of current and former Mankato residents, has partnered with Minnesota State University, Mankato’s African American Affairs, the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and many others for an exclusive premiere screening of the series on Monday evenings in February during Black History Month.

The public is invited to participate in the free events at 7 p.m. on Mondays in February by registering online at:

Topics include:

  • Monday, Feb. 1 – “Growing Up Black”
  • Monday, Feb. 8 – “Microaggressions”
  • Monday, Feb. 15 – “Overt Racism”
  • Monday, Feb. 22 – “Systemic Racism”
  • Monday, March 1 – “What’s Next” (this event is a summary of the series)

The “Amplifying Black Voices Project” was developed and produced by Mason Bultje and his mother, Laura Riness, in the summer of 2020. It is a series of videos that aims to promote understanding, reflection, and conversation, as well as a willingness to examine the often uncomfortable topic of racism.

Riness, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, is a licensed professional clinical counselor and a public speaker who has been a Minnesota State Mankato adjunct professor for approximately 10 years. Bultje, who was born and raised in Mankato, graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2018 with a degree in exercise physiology. He currently works at InnerCity Tennis in Minneapolis where he serves as the Northside program coordinator. Bultje’s passion is using sports as a vehicle to impact the lives of underserved youth and combating systemic inequities.

The event series at Minnesota State Mankato is sponsored in partnership with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, Minnesota State Mankato African American Affairs and the University’s Women’s Center in addition to the NAACP, YWCA and Mankato Area Public Schools.

For more information, please contact Kenneth Reid, director of African American Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 507-389-6207.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,604 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.