International Falls Welcoming Community Inclusion Learning Cohort

The International Falls area has been selected to participate as an Inclusion Learning Cohort (ILC) for 2024 as part of Northspan’s Welcoming Community program. The ILC is focused on building understanding of how to support a thriving and welcoming community by helping participants identify ways to improve inclusion and belonging in their communities.  

Participants in the ILCs will have opportunities to engage in educational and interactive learning activities with community members and local and national subject matter experts. People from every part of the community are encouraged to come together to engage in discussing and preparing for the future vitality of Koochiching County and International Falls. 

Upcoming International Falls Area Survey Launch Meeting 

The initial meeting for the ILC, the International Falls Area Survey Launch, is set for Thursday, February 1st, 2024, from 5:30PM to 7:00PM in the Commons at Rainy River Campus, Minnesota North College, (1501 U. S. Hwy 71, International Falls, MN 56649).  

Community members from every sector of the community are invited to attend to learn more about the upcoming Inclusion Learning Cohort workshops and participate in the Inclusion and Belonging Survey. The survey results will be used to inform the workshop topics and create a baseline understanding for inclusion in the community. 

Registration for this meeting is requested, but walk-ins are welcomed. A light dinner will be served, and children are welcome to attend with their parents. All of the Inclusion Learning Cohort workshops are free of charge. Please reach out to Welcoming Community Program Manager Amber Lewis at with any accessibility concerns.  


About Inclusion Learning Cohorts 

The International Falls Area Inclusion Learning Cohort is created in partnership with a core team from the community representing a variety of sectors including (1) business and chamber, (2) law enforcement, (3) non-profit and community organizations, (4) health care system, (5) education, (6) spiritual, religious, or faith groups, (7) arts and culture, (8) youth, and (9) elders. 

The goals of the Inclusion Learning Cohort experience are to:   

  • Build relationships across difference  
  • Learn inclusive community practices  
  • Identify gaps in inclusion and discuss areas of need in the community  
  • Identify a Community Inclusion Project to move forward together  

The learning cohort process involves three key elements:  

  • Community participation in the Inclusion and Belonging Survey 
  • Series of seven workshops with topics selected and hosted in partnership with local collaborators 
  • Selection and implementation of Community Inclusion Project by cohort members (up to $5000 in funding available) 

The Inclusion Learning Cohort is part of the larger Welcoming Community programming initiated by Northspan. Its goal is to foster inclusive environments in Northeast Minnesota and help residents from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences build relationships and collaboration to set the stage for community and economic growth. 

Attendees can register for the February 1st International Falls Area Inclusion Learning Cohort Survey Launch HERE!

Northspan’s Welcoming Community programming is funded in part by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Blandin Foundation, Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation, and the Northland Foundation.