Welcoming Community: Cultural Equity 

Northeast Minnesota holds a rich cultural heritage, from our indigenous first peoples, to a diverse mix of European settlers, to today’s immigrants from Latin and South America, Africa and Asia, we see continued change in the region, and increasing diversity. Fostering cultural equity, where we value and support the unique cultures of diverse communities, is an essential part in ensuring we are uplifting the past and ongoing cultural diversity of the people who call northeast Minnesota home. 

A recognition of the past and continuing inequities in cultural preservation and expression can help local governments, community members, and organizations advocate for just cultural equity practices.  

Welcoming efforts around cultural equity might include:  

  • Advocating for diverse cultural representation in public spaces 
  • Supporting education about past and present cultural inequities 
  • Mobilizing support for policies that offer protections for cultural practice in civic and spiritual life 

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

“The defense of cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity. It implies a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the rights of persons belonging to minorities and those of indigenous  peoples.” –UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity 

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 November is Cultural Equity. When exploring the learnings in the Resources to Explore section, we ask that you consider the following question: 

“In terms of cultural 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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Second Annual Equity Summit, Belonging in Northeast Minnesota  

Photo Credit: Jeremy Gardner Studio Coordinator/Engineer, FDLTCC Digital Arts Studio 

Northspan hosted the 2nd Annual Equity Summit, Belonging in Northeast Minnesota, on November 10 in partnership with regional and statewide collaborators. The summit was held at the Iron Trail Motors Event Center in Virginia, MN, and over 100 participants attended. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from 24 presenters who are working on a variety of programs and initiatives across northeast Minnesota aimed at fostering a welcoming and inclusive region.  

The summit is part of Northspan’s Welcoming Community program with the goal of increasing belonging of underrepresented community members and trust between people from different backgrounds and lived experiences in northeast Minnesota.  

Photo Credit: Jeremy Gardner Studio Coordinator/Engineer, FDLTCC Digital Arts Studio 


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Welcoming: In the News! 

Cook County News Herald: Local Leadership Presents at the NE MN Equity Summit  

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Photo Credit: Jeremy Gardner Studio Coordinator/Engineer, FDLTCC Digital Arts Studio 

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 December 5, 2022. 

The Lyceum Movement-Duluth Lyceum
November 28, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth, MN
Learn more here 

The Lyceum Movement-Itasca Lyceum
November 28, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Rapids Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, MN
Learn more here 

Innovate 218: The Rink Pitch Competition
November 29, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Pier B, Duluth, MN
Learn more here 

Chosa (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) Artist Talk
November 30, 11:00 a.m.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Ruth A. Myers Library or Zoom 

Julebyen Scandinavian Festival
December 3 & 4 (multiple times)
Knife River Recreation Area
Learn more here

International Falls Rotary:
Welcoming Community Initiative Speaker Series
Our Path Towards a Welcoming Community
December 7 at 5 p.m.
Minnesota North College-Rainy River
Learn more here

Neighborhood Church: Queering Faith
Wednesday, December 7, 7:00 p.m.
Dubh Linn Brew Pub
Learn more here 

Pop-Up Fundraiser for Duluth Branch NAACP
Feat. Danny Frank & the Smoky Gold

December 7, 6 – 9 p.m.
Carmody Irish Pub and Brewing, Duluth, MN


Thirteen Moons Fond du Lac Tribal College Extension Program
2023 Gichi Manidoo Giizis Pow Wow

January 13 & 14 (multiple times)
Black Bear Casino Resort, Otter Creek Event Center


Ongoing Events 

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa:
Ke Go Naa! Language Lessons

Learn more here

International Falls Rotary: Welcoming Community Initiative Speaker Series

Learn more here

Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging
Classes, Workshops, Trainings

Learn more here

Entrepreneur Fund: Stride 

Learn more here

Members Cooperative Credit Union(MCCU)
Financial Education Webinars

Learn more here 

Banzai Financial Wellness Library 


Fond du Lac Language and Cultural Center
Wednesday Events from 5 – 8 p.m.

Learn more 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.