Monday, July 6, 2009

We Need to Talk

...or better yet, you need to talk and we want to listen. In so many words, this is the message that the Otto Bremer Foundation conveys as staff and trustees visit Bremer communities in what we call "community convening" settings. The Foundation considers these sessions invaluable in meeting community stakeholders and learning about the issues and priorities as local leaders define them.

Community convenings were recently organized by Bremer Banks in Marshall and Willmar. Two dozen community leaders in each setting visited with Foundation Executive Director, Randi Roth, and Trustees, Charlotte Johnson and Dan Reardon. Topics ranged from the opportunities that these Bremer communities are experiencing with diverse cultures along with the challenges they confront in working to retain young people. Convening participants talked about school systems -- what's going well, what's not; volunteerism in rural towns; economic, cultural and health care challenges; collaboration and cooperation examples; and the desire to ever improve how we work together.

The convenings help the Foundation understand the unique characteristics and dynamics in the various Bremer regions, and provide information as they receive and consider proposals.

Posted by Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar

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