Over the past twelve months, the Welcoming Community program leveraged a variety of different approaches to bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds in an effort to build intercultural understanding and forge a more inclusive future for northeast Minnesota.
As program coordinator, Lead for Minnesota/Americorps Fellow Amber Lewis led a 31-person advisory committee with over 50% representation from underrepresented communities to steer the program.
The program was also supported by Olivia Niska as part of a three-month Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Intern internship which involved an in-depth research project.
Here are some more highlights from 2022:
- Hosted the second annual Equity Summit, “Belonging in Northeast Minnesota,” which took place in November and drew over 100 in-person attendees (a panel presentation from the summit is pictured above)
- Provided free administration of the Intercultural Development Inventory for individuals and organizations across northeast Minnesota (60 complete with an additional 16 in progress)
- Facilitated Inclusion Learning Cohorts in Cloquet School District and the Cook County School District—a year-long facilitated process to measure and improve inclusiveness
- Organized and hosted Duluth Lyceum, a monthly community learning and social forum at Bent Paddle in Duluth (pictured below)
- Collaborated with Urban Rural Action to orchestrate Uniting for Democracy in the Northland, a nonpartisan program dedicated to broadening civic participation
The program also launched a monthly newsletter and blog series. You can sign up for the newsletter, and browse past newsletters here:
- February 2022: Racial Equity
- March 2022: Digital Equity
- April 2022: Language Equity
- May 2022: Entrepreneurial Equity
- June 2022: Social Capital Equity
- July 2022: Age Equity
- August 2022: Expression Equity
- September 2022: Historical Equity
- October 2022: Housing Equity
You can learn more and get involved with the Welcoming Community program here, or contact Welcoming Community Program Coordinator Amber Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.