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Top 10: City takes steps to a more welcoming Hastings for everyone

A couple hundred people attended a kick off event to discuss diversity, inclusion and equity in the community. Photo courtesy of City of Hastings

Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018.

 

A proclamation and resolution was made in April between Hastings City Council and the Hastings School Board stating that "All are welcome in Hastings."

Since the official start of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Initiative, community members and leaders have participated in a handful of workshops and presentations focused on creating a more welcoming community.

Most recently, the second session of the Equity Innovation Labs took place Nov. 27. The Equity Innovation Labs are led by the YMCA Equity Innovation Center with the main goal of identifying challenges of diversity and inclusion in Hastings and creating an action plan to help deal with those challenges.

Three areas of opportunity that were identified in the first session in October were trust and safety, community building and cultural competence. The November session dove deeper into these areas and decided where it would be best to focus community efforts.

The initiative started its partnership with the Equity Innovation Center officially in September.

The partnership started with a Leadership Think Tank, that formed the base of the Equity Labs by starting conversations with community leaders about concerns in the Hastings community.

The next Equity Innovation Lab will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the Dakota Pines banquet facility. There will be free child care provided by the YMCA KidStuff program for kids ages 6 months to 10 years old. Dinner will be available for $10 starting at 5 p.m. New participants are always welcome to come.

The initiative is also working on putting together a Longer Table event. The Longer Table will be held June 23, 2019 and encourages community members to come together for food and discussion. Everyone should bring food from their cultural background.

Community members are welcome to come to meetings to help plan. The next meeting will be held 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Hastings Area YMCA. Make sure to bring a form of ID to get into the building.

Those interested in receiving updates on opportunities, events and other information can register at www.hastingsmn.gov/equity.

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