Carin Mrotz is the executive director of Jewish Community Action, a 25-year-old nonprofit organizing Minnesota’s Jewish community for racial and economic justice. On staff since 2004, she has worked on campaigns for immigrant and workers’ rights, and played a key role in leading JCA’s work to organize with interfaith partners in support of marriage equality in 2012. Since becoming executive director in 2017, she has grown the organization, built on ongoing campaigns for affordable housing and criminal justice reform, and launched a new program to work statewide with other progressives to build a shared analysis of antisemitism and white nationalism. Carin holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and a master’s degree in public administration. She has worked as a trainer, curriculum designer and college instructor, and she has served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, providing support in fundraising, program evaluation and organizational development. Carin is an active voice in progressive politics nationally and in Minnesota, providing analysis and commentary for Minnesota Public Radio and TPT Public Television. She has written about religion, parenting and politics for The Forward, NBC News, and other local and national publications. In 2019, she was recognized on the “Forward 50” list of influential American Jews. Carin grew up in South Florida before moving to Minnesota on a dare in 1997. She lives in North Minneapolis with her family and can’t wait to be able to see live music again.
July 1st, 2021 | Season 1 | 48 mins 47 secs
“People are really still antisemitic? I thought you all were just regular white people now.” When social justice activist Carin Mrotz heard those words from a Black activist, Mrotz knew she had even more to do: Educating non-Jewish progressives about antisemitism, putting antisemitism on the progressive agenda, building alliances to tackle antisemitism, racism and all expressions of white supremacy. In this interview, Mrotz, executive director of Minneapolis-based Jewish Community Action, discusses how the murder of George Floyd and subsequent conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin has impacted her work. Mrotz also talks about her working relationship with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. And, just to mix things up, we get into how the Miami punk rock scene of the 1980s shaped her worldview.