top of page
DSC_0200 (1).jpg

Inclusive Moorhead

What is Inclusive Moorhead?

A project of Resilient Moorhead, Inclusive Moorhead is a network of people working together to improve social and racial equity. To be resilient, a community has to have a high degree of equity, ensuring that all residents have the resources needed to thrive even when circumstances are challenging. And the community needs the talents and strengths of all residents! The more people can meaningfully participate in civic life, the stronger the community will be.

 

In 2021, Resilient Moorhead contracted with UBUNTU Consulting, led by Laetitia Mizero Hellerud, to conduct an extensive set of listening sessions with members of marginalized communities in Moorhead. The next step was to move from the report to action. To do this, we engaged the services of Karen Pifher’s Creating Community Consulting. Out of this work, in 2022, emerged Inclusive Moorhead, a community-wide network.

 

Inclusive Moorhead recognizes all of the good things about Moorhead and the efforts by many to create a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community. We seek to build on strengths and to assist those in leadership positions in moving forward in commitments to advance social and racial equity in our community.

Inclusive Action Initiative

Inclusive Action is all about inspiring and motivating everyday citizens to find the good - in themselves and those around them, and to feel like they belong, are engaged, and connected. 

Our Approach

Building community resilience starts with identifying who is most impacted by poor living and social conditions and who is marginalized. Local data and the “Social and Racial Equity Study” (Ubuntu, 2022) showed glaring health and wellness disparities across under-represented populations. Inclusive Moorhead was developed as a collective effort to understand and respond to those disparities by engaging with people most impacted by the conditions to develop collaborative solutions. Using a result-focused, strength-based, and data-driven approach informed by the social and racial equity study, key strategies have been developed.

 

Strategies are organized into four areas of work: 

UBUNTU Consulting’s Social and Racial Equity Study

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to gather information from historically underrepresented groups in Moorhead that can be used to formulate actions to be taken to advance social and racial equity. Additionally, a secondary goal is to develop new opportunities for participation by community members in the Resilient Moorhead Project. The focus was on gathering information about how members of minority groups experience life in Moorhead, their views of government and other key institutions in Moorhead, and their ideas about what should be done to advance social and racial equity.

Groups Engaged

Nine populations were identified. A leader of each minoritized group was invited to collaborate in carrying out the listening session(s) for their group. The listening sessions were recorded so that all of the rich data could be used in developing a report. The involved groups were:  

  1. African American/Blacks

  2. Kurdish

  3. LGBTQ

  4. Latinx

  5. Moorhead Public Housing Authority Residents

  6. Native Americans

  7. People living with disabilities 

  8. Somali

  9. Sudanese (North and South)

Summary of Results

The 57-page Listening Sessions Report contains an extremely rich set of information, insights, and ideas provided by members of marginalized groups in Moorhead. The report presents a list of concerns and issues, with illustrative stories. The report also provides extensive information on participants’ experiences with and ideas about civic engagement. Lastly, the report catalogs participants’ insights about what can be changed and how they can be involved.

 

As would be expected, the report focuses on issues and problems, even as participants did make note of the wide variety of positive aspects of the community.

 

Lack of civic engagement

Underrepresented populations are absent or minimal across most areas of civic engagement.    Reasons include: lack of trust, historical lack of responsiveness, lack of transparency, not being hosted in welcoming spaces or at welcoming times, not supporting people with families, now knowing how or where to engage, not feeling welcome, not being open to honest discussion, victim blaming, and unfriendly participation processes (too formal).  

 

Key themes throughout the study

  1. Lack of trust in community leaders

  2. Lack of transparency about how information is used and actions taken 

  3. Need for more community education about racial and cultural issues

  4. Amplified negative impact of COVID 19 on under-represented populations

  5. Lack of access to financial resources by under-represented groups

Recommendations for Action from UBUNTU

  1. Build leadership energy for action

  2. Improve policy, procedure and practice

  3. Implement human resources assessments

  4. Expand educational opportunities and resources

  5. Improve the awareness and importance of inclusion

  6. Improve power sharing in planning, access to resources and decision making

  7. Improve access and engagement of under-represented communities

  8. Expand social and racial justice interfaith initiatives

 

Community sectors where work is needed:

  1. Local Government

  2. Law Enforcement

  3. School Systems

  4. Non-profits

  5. Business Community 

  6. Healthcare Systems

  7. Religious Organizations

 

The full report includes additional context behind the findings in the summary. Positive and negative attributes related to Moorhead and additional potential opportunities for action are also outlined. Please click below for access to the report.  

What We've Accomplished

September 2022-
December 2023
  • Completed balanced scorecard with strategies and key performance metrics around the four priority areas

  • Leveraged $6,000 worth of in kind support 

  • More than 60 participants engaged and over 140 volunteer hours 

  • 20+ organizations working together

  • Awarded grant for approximately $100K in partnership with Clay County from the Minnesota Department of Health - Health Equity to fund IM strategies

  • Awarded $20,000 by West Central Initiative Resilient Community Grant

  • Kicked off the Positive Community Norms Photography Project

  • Held Quarterly Gatherings 

  • Organized 17 organizations to participate in the Greater Moorhead Days Parade

Inclusive Moorhead Space

To enable as many people as possible to take part in developing and implementing an action plan to improve equity, we prioritize creating a safe, inviting, culturally diverse, family friend and fun collective space to plan actions together to build an Inclusive Moorhead. Our regular gatherings have these characteristics:

  • Child care included

  • Free food provided

  • Culturally diverse networking

  • Action planning with accountability 

  • Held on Sunday afternoons to accommodate working class people 

  • Rotating hosts to learn/participate in diverse cultural experiences

Activities
  • Hosting quarterly community events and planning to continue to build relationships, monitor progress and build community education

  • Co-leads designated for Inclusive Moorhead for 2022-2023 

  • Allocation of small grant from West Central Initiative to support launch of the Inclusive Moorhead Initiative in September 2022

  • Launched inclusive planning to inform community development projects with those most impacted:  Romkey Park development and Recovery Village 

  • Developed Resilient Moorhead website, which will host all the Inclusive Moorhead information and reports to promote transparency and accountability

  • Developed a logo through participatory action

  • Presented to the Moorhead Human Rights Commission to begin building partnership

  • Received allocation of $500 from West Central Initiative for "Welcoming Week" to support launch

  • Completed study to gather input from the local neighborhood to understand the desire of residents for a Romkey Park area multi-use building development   

  • Completed study with people in recovery to understand the potential need and impact of a Recovery Village 

Contact Us to Get Involved

Join the network!

For the most up-to-date information and schedule of events, follow us on social:

bottom of page