Welcoming Community: Digital Equity

Inclusion Readiness Assessment Set to Occur in Three Northeast Minnesota Communities

Northspan’s Welcoming Community program is preparing to launch learning cohorts centered around inclusion topics in three rural communities in northeast MN. The first step in launching the learning cohorts involves conducting an Inclusion Readiness Assessment in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.

The Inclusion Readiness Assessment is administered during a two-hour Zoom meeting with community members who live and work within the boundaries of the three selected communities. Community members will assess their community based on their connection to one of seven different sectors (schools, health care, local government, businesses, law enforcement, faith organizations, and nonprofit organizations). The results of the Inclusion Readiness Assessments will be used to provide data for future community Action Planning sessions and will inform the unique curriculum for the learning cohorts in each location.

In our most recent Advisory Committee meeting, school districts were decided upon as a logical community boundary due to the natural areas of interaction between community members and greater diversity than individual cities. The school districts identified for participation in the three initial learning cohorts are:

  • Cloquet School District
  • Cook County School District
  • Rock Ridge School District

Northspan is searching for up to six (two per community) committed Community Outreach Coordinators to assist the Welcoming Community program in recruiting diverse participants from seven sectors in each community (schools, health care, local government, businesses, law enforcement, faith organizations, and nonprofit organizations).

Community members are recruited to participate in two 2-hour Zoom meetings: the Inclusion Readiness Assessment and a Community Action Planning meeting (Learn more here).

These are short term (March – May) paid consultant positions (up to $3500)! Community Outreach Coordinators will be compensated based on the number and diversity of participants recruited from identified sectors (Learn more here).

Please contact alewis@northspan.org for more information or if you are interested in being considered for a Community Outreach Coordinator position in one of these communities.

Do You Live or Work in One of the Learning Cohort Communities?

Northspan is currently recruiting community members to participate in the Inclusion Readiness Assessments.

PARTICIPATE: Are you able to attend the Inclusion Readiness Assessment as a participant? We welcome you to register as a participant for the Inclusion Readiness Assessment Zoom meeting on April 14th from 5:30PM-7:30PM.

Register Here

REFER: If not you, who? Who do you know within the boundaries of any of the above school districts who you would like to refer to participate in the Inclusion Readiness Assessment and Action Planning sessions?

Refer Here

CONNECT: Please share this page with those in your network who could participate or refer.

Participants who attend both the Inclusion Readiness Assessment and Action Planning Zoom sessions will be compensated with a $25 gift card.

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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 April 4th, 2022.

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Continued Learning

A goal of the Welcoming Community program is to provide the community with 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 March is Digital Equity. When exploring the learnings in the Resources to Explore section, we ask that you consider the following question: “In terms of digital equity in NE Minnesota, where have we come from, where are we now, and what steps do we need to take to reach an equitable future?”


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If you know others in your community that would be interested in participating with Welcoming Community programming, please share 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.