Expanding Cultural Competency

Welcoming Communities Advocacy Groups strive to expand cultural competency by acknowledging and bridging difference. Our regional language is changing, curiosity is peeked, and our hope is that this work influences systems that are affecting equitable economic prosperity for the long haul.


We utilize the WealthWorks framework designed for organizations like ours to see the full continuum and make connections to tools like the Intercultural Development Inventory Assessments that help us build cultural capital to benefit all people.

We currently have eight groups identified and working on their Welcoming Communities Project:

  • Brainerd | Project idea: Community and Workforce Inclusion Council (placemaking)

  • Pine River | Project idea: offering virtual cultural cooking classes, ingredients from the local food co-op, classes include a local chef and a “cultural connector” to share why that meal is important to their culture (local foods)

  • Little Falls | Project idea: history of how energy has been harnessed in Little Falls from the river to the sun and how different cultures have used those forms of energy in our region (energy)

  • Long Prairie | Project idea: Adding features to Harmony Park to encourage interaction and conversation among residents (placemaking)

  • Staples | Project idea: Outreach to educators and small business employers to learn more about inclusive practices and access to small grants to help implement these strategies in their classrooms or businesses (placemaking)

  • MidMN Women's Center | Project idea: Looking to be more welcoming and inclusive to the population they truly serve

  • GoNorth | Project: create a welcoming center/community classroom utilizing multi-generational  volunteers. View final project report here.

  • Pequot Lakes | Project idea: connecting community population to student population

As these projects evolve, more details will be shared here. To learn more, please contact Dawn Espe.