Equitable Development Specialist


Dawn oversees the Welcoming Communities initiatives to attract and retain a qualified workforce, as well as expanding cultural agility, in Region 5. Through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens, Dawn works with communities, organizations and individuals to help bridge cultural differences, working to improve quality of life and economic vitality for all.  Dawn is also a Qualified Assessor for the Intercultural Development Inventory and delivers assessments to groups and individuals as a tool to support their DEI efforts. Placemaking is another focus of Dawn’s work. By engaging local artists, creative thinkers and storytellers, placemaking works to strengthen connections between people and the places they share.  Additionally, she helps to build community capitals and value chains using the WealthWorks model, which increases local wealth and ownership. She is currently working on placemaking, local foods and energy value chains.  


Dawn serves on the Five Wings Arts Council board, University of MN Extension’s Regional Sustainable Community Development advisory team, Brainerd Lakes Pride board and serves as R5DC’s Civil Rights Coordinator.  She holds a master's degree in Education from the University of MN, Duluth. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State University in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services with an emphasis in Event Planning and Natural Resource Management.

Dawn can be reached directly at 218.894.3233 ext. 3 or via email at despe@regionfive.org