Region Nine, in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality (UMNECCV) and Greater Mankato Diversity Council (GMDC), are excited to co-host the Southern Minnesota Equity Summit geared toward small towns and rural communities in southern Minnesota.

The summit will convene regional leaders as a catalyst for learning, networking, and innovation to promote welcoming and equitable communities on November 1, 2019 at the Saint Peter High School.


Featuring Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan as keynote speaker!

Breakout sessions will cover strategies and tools for use in the sectors of:

Business & Industry:

  • Creating a Culture of Inclusion in the Workplace with Colette Drager, former VP of human resources of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, and Mohamed Abdulkadir, Managed Resource Connections, Inc. (MRCI) Refugee Training Consultant.
  • Uncovering Hidden Biases in the Hiring Process with Jessica Miller of Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).


  • Equity and Education with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council.
  • Community Health Workers, a Health Equity Workforce with Anne Ganey of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, Habiba Rashi of Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services, and the Mayo Clinic Health System.


  • Somos Lideres Latinos: Developing a Culturally-Specific Leadership Kit for Latinx residents in Rural Minnesota with Dr. Fernando Burga, Dr. Silvia Alvarez, Gabriela Burk, Mayra Monarrez , Mireya Serrano, a team of University of Minnesota faculty, extension, and residents. This presentation demonstrates the work of Latinos en Accion (LEA), a community group from Dodge Center, MN composed by Latina mothers. In collaboration with University of Minnesota Faculty and Extension Staff, LEA members developed leadership workshops addressing race, identity, culture and gender as key components of capacity building. The toolkit included the application of graphic instruments and reflections based on Latinx core values: family, history, and language. The presentation will show the instruments and the lessons learned to consider the development of leadership training kits focused on the cultural experience of People of color by People of color.

Community Groups & Nonprofits:

  • Our Town: a panel discussion on grassroots efforts that created welcoming and vibrant community ecosystems in small towns with panelists Juan Pablo of HACER on work in Red Wing, Pat Branstad and Luisa Trapero of St. James Uniting Cultures Group, and Sarah Senseman of BCBS on work in Wilmar.

Register at 507.934.3048 ext. 1 or online.

Space is limited. Ticket price of $30, scholarships available. Reservations are due by October 15, 2019   Now Extended Until October 21, 2019!