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SE Minnesota Together: Welcoming and Inclusion Conversation

When Jul 15, 2020
from 01:30 PM to 03:00 PM
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Background:

For the past five years, SE MN Together has hosted conversations and activities across our region that are focused on how our region can work together to address our workforce issues. We have focused on the issues that participants in our convenings have identified as key: diversity and inclusion, housing, transit, child care, and marketing our region. 

 

SE MN Together seeks to leverage our collective work to amplify the impact of our region’s workforce initiatives.  Diversity and inclusion continue to be a focus of our activities. We believe that economies and individuals thrive when all members of society are recognized and welcomed as valued contributors who are vital to the success of our communities and shared future. 

Several years ago, the cities of Winona and Austin became affiliated with the Welcoming America network, a national organization dedicated to supporting community efforts to be more welcoming and inclusive. Winona’s Project FINE, which is also an active member of SE MN Together, has found the Welcoming America organization to be a valuable resource.  Based on that experience, earlier this year, SE MN Together joined the Welcoming America network.  

We would like to have a conversation with you about how we can work together on diversity and inclusion.  During our conversation, we’ll introduce Welcoming America, and provide an overview of its approach and what communities all over the country are doing to support all residents.   Molly Hilligoss, Welcoming America Regional Coordinator will be attending our meeting to brief you and to answer your questions. If you would like to some research on the organization in advance of our meeting, you can visit their website at www.welcomingamerica.org

 When we began planning this conversation, our focus had been on calling out the September National Welcome Week activities that Welcoming America has developed and that many communities are doing. Our broader goal is to explore opportunities and interest in supporting multi-sector inclusion work across our region.  Given the events of the last few weeks, there is an even greater need and opportunity to explore what our communities can do to welcome and include a diverse workforce.   We hope this first conversation will help set the stage for a deeper set of conversations around topics such as inclusive economic development, connected communities, civic engagement, access to services and more.

 

Will you join us?

 

 


 

AGENDA:

 

1:30 Welcome and Introductions.................................... Sheila Kiscaden, SE MN Together Core Team
What is SE MN Together? Why call this meeting?............ Sheila Kiscaden
Review Intended Meeting Outcomes: ........................... Sheila Kiscaden
- Assess interest in forming a regional coalition to advance inclusion and diversity in
our communities and workforce
- Introduce Welcoming America as a resource
- Potential activities in SE Minnesota for Welcome Week 2020
- Mayor's Proclamations............................................. Brenda Johnson, SE Minn League of Municipalities
- School District Engagement
- Community Opportunities and Options
1:40 Presentations and Discussions:
Introduction to SE MN Together........................................... Sheila Kiscaden
- Who are we?
- Interest in diversity and inclusion: activities to date
- 2015-16 Regional meetings....identified diversity and inclusion
- Diversity Resource Directory
- Regional Convening on Diversity
- Membership in Welcoming America
- Assess support for regional coalition
1:50 Project FINE-- Welcoming SE Minnesota.......Fatima Said, Project FINE

2:05 Introduction to Welcoming America and its Resources..................Molly Hilligoss, Welcoming America

2:25 SMIF's Focus on Diversity and Inclusion.....................................Pam Bishop, Southern Minnesota Initiative
Foundation

2:30 Open Discussion: What are your thoughts and reactions?
Would there be value, benefit, or interest in creating a regional coalition?
If so, what are our barriers or reservations?
What interest would there be in supporting Welcome Week proclamations or activities?
What should be our next steps?

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