Citizen of Edina: Kelly Streit
For the 12 years Kelly Streit has lived in Edina, she has focused her volunteer and advocacy work on human rights. Starting as a board member for Edina’s A Better Chance (ABC), Streit is now the co-administrator of Edina’s Anti-Racism Collective (ARC), an organization founded shortly after the death of George Floyd in 2020.
As an ABC board member, Streit helped bring high-achieving students of color to Edina from communities in America lacking adequate educational opportunities. From her 10 years with the program, Streit realized the disparity among U.S. school systems and their inequitable effect on Black communities. “I think that realization dovetailed into my more anti-racism-focused work,” she says.
Alongside Terrie Rose, M.D., who facilitated neighborhood conversations on racism after Floyd’s death, Streit participated in the first “Learning to Lead” Zoom sessions aimed at exploring the complexity of systematic racism. “We talked about things that, especially as white people, we don’t talk about,” Streit says.
In July, ARC led “Stand Against Hate,” an event at 50th and Wooddale launched in response to racist incidents that had recently impacted the community. More than 100 people participated. “It was such good community support, not only from the people that showed up, but from the people that were driving by,” Streit says. “[It was] very positive—people hugging and waving—and it felt really good to have a cleansing moment.”
Through ARC, Streit has also established partnerships with faith communities to share knowledge and expand ARC’s impact, getting people from different faith communities “to come together and affirm their commitment to anti-racism,” Streit says.
Summarizing her efforts, she says, “I don’t think I can ever not do this work anymore because, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be finished in my lifetime.”
The Anti-Racism Collective is a Community Impact Partner of the Edina Community Foundation.
Contributed by Carmela Cadja for the Edina Community Foundation.