Fallout from Minneapolis’ Black History Month Expo continues to echo

Former city department head Tyeastia Green published a 14-page memo earlier this month defending her work for the city and accusing her co-workers of antiblack racism. The memo can be found at the end of this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The second sentence of the memo reads,

In this report, I cite experts and scholars to show how what I have experienced here is, in fact, antiblack racism and that some of that racism was done at the hands of other Black people in the enterprise.

She promises litigation to follow.

No longer serving as the head of the city’s Department of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Green takes aim at her former colleagues in city government in the memo.

Much of the media coverage of the event last month emphasized its sparse attendance. In Green’s memo, she asserts that the fact that the Expo occurred at all represents a triumph against the odds.

The memo includes a diagram,

The memo catalogs a long list of grievances: inadequate office space, overbearing supervision (p. 2), ginned-up ethics complaints (p. 4), contradictory instructions (p. 5), and defamatory statements (p. 9). It includes 14 footnotes and copies of internal emails.

Many city officials are mentioned by name in the document. Specific dates of events are provided. Her tenure with the city lasted less than a year, after being hired with much fanfare in March 2022.

Green discusses the timing of her resignation in the memo (p. 10), the last-minute budget increase for the Expo (p. 12), and the need for further investigation of her claims (p. 14).

Green has also told her side of the story to MPR News. She told the outlet,

“There are a lot of lessons to be learned here, but I do think that it was a beautiful event,” Green said of the expo. “I know that it could have been better if I would have had the support of the city to do it.”

In an interview with WCCO last week, Green herself says that she tried to pull the plug on the event,

According to Green, she tried to cancel the event multiple times, including as late as two weeks before the event, but the city refused. 

“What I did feel was that they were trying to ensure this event failed and I as a leader, in turn, would fail.”

The dustup over the failed Expo has moved beyond Minneapolis, and Green’s former home in Burlington, VT, to receive national and international attention.