People gather for first-ever Southern Minnesota Equity Summit

ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — A variety of different sectors were brought together for discussions on equity and diversity in communities and workplaces.

Region Nine Development Commission, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension for Community Vitality and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and support from the Bush Foundation, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Mankato Area Foundation and St. Peter Public Schools hosted the event.

“We brought together a variety of different sectors in a community. Including government, business, education, philanthropy, and we brought them together, so they are able to share how they can build equity, diversity and inclusion within their communities,” Region Nine Consultant Julie Hawker said.

Keynote speakers were present for the event, such as Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Flanagan’s principles of her career work are giving back particularly to children and families of color, American Indians, low income and working people.

“I came here today to Southern Minnesota to talk about the need to ensure that everything we are doing is through an equity lens. That diversity and inclusion should be very central to the work that we do. That there’s so much more we can do to make Minnesota more welcoming and inclusive through the leaders right here in the community,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan opened the floor to questions and listened to as attendees voiced their concerns on the topic.

That included requesting more diversity in leadership roles in schools and government positions.

The day served as a day of networking between groups to learn how to find tools in their community and to increase diverse equity.

View the KEYC article and video.