We are excited to announce that Governor Mark Dayton declared June 1, 2017 Capitol Pathways Day! We are so proud to have this day in honor of our Capitol Pathways work, our students, host organizations and many community supporters.

Read the full proclamation here!

We officially wrapped up the end of our 2016-2017 Capitol Pathways Program year with our end of session celebration last week on June 1st. The event was a huge success and would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and support of all our guests! In attendance was our 2016-2017 student cohort, partnering host organizations, family members, and various support networks from the community. THANK YOU to everyone who attended. To those who were not able to join us but continue to be Capitol Pathways advocates–we missed you!

Sean Kershaw (left), Kalia Xiong (right)

Citizens League Executive Director, Sean Kershaw, kick-started our program for the evening and welcomed the guests. Next, Capitol Pathways Program Manager, Kalia Xiong, took the stage and talked about how much the program have grown in just two years.

Capitol Pathways Program Quick Facts:

Inaugural program year (2015-2016) Students: 26 Partnering host organizations: 22
Second program year (2016-2017) Students: 34 Partnering host organizations: 33

Diversity in Minnesota: People of color make up 19% of the state’s population but are still largely absent in the Minnesota Legislature and other elected bodies in policy and decision-making. In the 2016-2017 Minnesota Legislature, there were 201 members however, only 16, or 8%, were people of color.   Two student speakers shared their internship experiences and talked about what they found enjoyable, what was challenging, and the many things they learned while interning at the Capitol. First, Nitya Chandiramani, a senior who recently graduated from the University of Minnesota – Rochester. She interned with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Nitya (left), Nitya and her family and Commissioner Shawntera Hardy (DEED)

Next up, our second student speaker, Antonio Carmona-Elias, took the stage. Antonio is a senior who recently graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He interned with the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs (CLAC).

Antonio Carmona-Elias

We were honored to have Commissioner Shawntera Hardy (DEED) join us as our keynote speaker. As someone who has been instrumental in advancing policy initiatives to diversify state government and expand economic opportunities for Minnesotans of color, she is a perfect case study of how a professional of color can rise to leadership positions of power.

Commissioner Shawntera Hardy

Henry Jiménez, the Executive Director of the CLAC, was our last guest speaker of the evening. He was Antonio Carmona-Elias’ supervisor for the 2016-2017 legislative year and spoke about the close mentor-mentee relationship the two had formed during their time together. He emphasized how, in working with our Capitol Pathways students, organizations are learning about the communities they serve.

Henry Jiménez

Pahoua Yang-Hoffman, Citizens League Policy Director, wrapped up the event. She was joined by fellow Capitol Pathways founders Juventino Meza, Claire Wilson and Annie Levenson-Falk to present certificates of completion to the student cohort.

(From left) Annie, Claire, Juve, and Pahoua

For more photos from our end of session celebration, please click here

Thank you to our major program sponsors: Bush Foundation Humphrey School of Public Policy Johnston Family Foundation Marie and Kevin Ellis Martha and Donald Farley Family Foundation, Sarah Farley & Betty Tisel Otto Bremer Trust The Saint Paul Foundation Wells Fargo
Thank you to our event sponsors: Sara Sternberger Alfonso Wenker Claire Wilson & Maria Kaefer
  Be a part of opening doors, expanding networks of power,  and creating a truly representative democracy!

Donate now to Capitol Pathways

Applications for the 2017-2018 legislative session will open in the Fall. If you are interested in applying as a student or are an organization interested in hosting a Capitol Pathways intern, please contact Program Manager, Kalia Xiong, at [email protected] or 651-289-1075.