Welcoming Community: Age Equity

Age often presents a barrier to participating and enjoying community activities and resources to the fullest extent. Disparities exist in health care, employment, housing, community engagement, transportation access, and more.  

Initiatives to address age barriers are often focused on elders in our communities, but addressing age discrimination helps to support the full participation of all community members regardless of age. Welcoming efforts around age equity might include:  

  • Intergenerational community activities 
  • Inclusive hiring practices 
  • Programming to support public transportation access 
  • Programs to encourage young entrepreneurs 

Even a simple bench in a grocery store can make a difference for the elder, parent, or child who needs a break.  

Considering the relationship between age and inclusion is essential to understanding a more complete picture of equity across the Northland. Visit the Resources to Explore section to learn more about some current initiatives and stories around age equity in the Northland. 

People of all ages benefit from the adoption of policies and programs that make neighborhoods walkable, feature transportation options, enable access to key services, provide opportunities to participate in community activities, and support housing that’s affordable and adaptable.” —AARP 

age equity mn

Continued Learning 

The goal of the Welcoming Community program is to provide continued opportunities for learning and connection related to topics relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our region. In our monthly emails, we highlight a specific equity topic and provide resources related to the monthly theme. 

The theme for the month of July is Age Equity. When exploring the learnings in the Resources to Explore section, we ask that you consider the following question: 

“In terms of age equity in northeast Minnesota, where have we come from, where are we now, and what steps do we need to take to reach an equitable future?” 

Resources to Explore 

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Inclusion Learning Cohorts Set to Begin 

We are excited to announce the launch of the Inclusion Learning Cohorts in the Cloquet and Cook County areas! Dates have been chosen and in-person locations secured for each community. Participation in the Inclusion Learning Cohorts is limited to those who live or work in the school district areas of the respective communities. More information below! 

Cloquet Area Inclusion Learning Cohort
Third Monday of the Month, September – March
First Meeting: September 19, 2022 
Agenda: Dinner and Socializing, 5:00-5:30PM; Interactive Program, 5:30-7:30PM
Location: Cloquet Public Library (320 14th St, Cloquet, MN 55720) 
Register here!  

Cook County Area Inclusion Learning Cohort 
First Thursday of the Month, October-April
First Meeting: October 6th, 2022
Agenda: Dinner and Socializing, 5:00-5:30PM; Interactive Program, 5:30-7:30PM
Location: Cook County Higher Education Building (300 W 3rd St, Grand Marais, MN 55604) 
Register here! 

In June, Northspan along with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality hosted Reporting and Action Planning sessions for the Cloquet and Cook County areas. In the online sessions the results of the Inclusion Readiness Assessment, which had been ongoing since April 2022, were reported and community members engaged in discussion and provided direction for the learning opportunities to be included in the Inclusion Learning Cohorts. To review the recordings of the reporting portion of the sessions see the links below: 

The Inclusion Learning Cohorts are learning opportunities where community members engage in hands-on activities with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and community members. The monthly cohort workshops provide a framework for communities to:   

  1. Build relationships  
  2. Learn inclusive community practices 
  3. Discuss areas of need in the community, and  
  4. Identify a community venture project to move forward together.    

Workshops will be facilitated in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, Northspan Group, Inc., and other potential partners. Inclusion Learning Cohort workshop themes may include:   

  • Why Is Inclusion Important to Our Community?   
  • Understanding Local History & Storytelling    
  • Constructive Dialogue and Problem Analysis    
  • Engaging the Community    
  • Creating Belonging    
  • Understanding Bias, Race, and Cultural Competency   
  • Leading in Equity and Inclusion   
  • Moving Towards Inclusive Policies and Practices   

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Welcoming: In the News! 

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Welcoming Events Across the Northland  

Many initiatives are ongoing to support Welcoming across northeast Minnesota. Listed below are some in-person and digital opportunities to explore and participate in! 

Do you know about a connection opportunity we could highlight in an upcoming newsletter? Submit proposals to alewis@northspan.org by August 5th, 2022. 

July & August Events

Age to Age: Hibbing on Howard

July 18th, July 24th from 5-7PM
Howard Street, Hibbing, MN
Learn more here 

Minnesota Discovery Center: Biketown Documentary Premiere 
July 22 at 6PM
Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm, MN
Learn more here 

The Lyceum Movement-Duluth Lyceum
(On pause for the Month of July)
Next Date: August 22nd
Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth, MN
Learn more here


Ongoing Events


True Tuesdays
3rd Tuesday of the Month, Online
Learn more here

Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging: Classes, Workshops, Trainings

Learn more here

Entrepreneur Fund: Stride
Learn more here

ILT Academy: Innovate 218 Fall Cohort 2022
Learn more here

St. Louis County Historical Society: Ojibwe Storytelling
1pm every Wednesday and Saturday, June 26th through Labor Day 
St. Louis County Historical Society

Members Cooperative Credit Union (MCCU): Financial Education Webinars
Learn more here 

Banzai Financial Wellness Library

City of Virgina: Music in the Park Series
Learn more here 

Fond du Lac Language and Culture Dinners
Wednesdays from 5PM-8PM
Fond du Lac Language and Cultural Center in Cloquet, MN
Learn more here 

Aging Impact Award
Learn more here

American Indian Community Housing Organization: Indigenous Art By Shaun Chosa

Learn more here

Uniting for Democracy in the Northland
Learn more here

Employer Champions Initiative
Register here

Voices for Ethnic and Multicultural Awareness: Northern MN Book Club
Register here

Minnesota Women’s Press Changemakers Alliance
Learn more here 

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Invite a Friend  

If you know others in your community who are interested in participating with Welcoming Community programming, please share this page so they can learn more & Click Here to join our email list. 

Contact Northspan’s Welcoming Community Program Coordinator Amber Lewis at alewis@northspan.org with any questions.