Rural Equity Learning Community Project

Share, examine, and explore inclusive best practices through education and relationship-building to facilitate capacity for local action.

In response to growing regional demand for equity education and resources, Region Nine, with generous support provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, and the Blandin Foundation, collaborated in a design team with Greater Mankato Diversity Council and the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, to plan, design, and facilitate a training with 45 regional stakeholders in a collective learning cohort. Participants represent their local community group and engage in small and large group interactive learning over seven months.

Rural Equity and Opportunity Project

In 2017, Region Nine, in partnership with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, held regional conversations with cross-sector leaders on changing regional demographics. As a platform to expand engagement to the broader community, Region Nine initiated a partnership with the YWCA of Mankato to bring their trademarked program model, It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race, to hold public conversations in seven small towns in our region. The forums engaged 305 stakeholders and provided a platform for introductory, awareness-building conversations around themes of race.

Local school districts and community education departments assisted Region Nine with local convening and recruitment efforts.