Monday, September 26, 2011

Learning More About Hispanic Immigrants in Morris

Randi Roth, executive director of the Otto Bremer Foundation and Charlotte Johnson, trusteet of the Otto Bremer Foundation made a visit to Morris on September 8, to learn more about the Hispanic immigrants moving to the area. In the morning, three immigrants talked about their experience in Morris - what brought them here, how they do or do not feel welcome in the community, barriers they face and what the community could do better. It was a great small group discussion.

In the afternoon, we held a convening with 15 community leaders and discussed services being offered, how the community is responding to the needs of the Hispanic community and what we are doing to be inclusive. The second portion of the meeting focused on the Stevens Forward Social Inclusion Driver - "by 2012 we will have established an inclusive culture that embraces a diversity of people in our population and encourages their uniqueness to flourish and enhance our community." Learn more about Stevens Forward at We discussed how we are doing with this goal and waht the challenges and gaps are.

As is the case with most community convenings, the Otto Bremer Foundation staff are invited to, we as a community learn more about ourselves and find opportunities to better work together. For example, I made a connection with the founders of a group called Lazos (whose purppose it is to help the Latino community build relationships in Stevens County and through events and activities bring the cultures together) by inviting them to be part of our nonprofit group called Resource Connections (whose purpose it is to strengthen the Stevens County community through nonprofit cooperation.) And that is just one example!

Holly Witt, NRS, Alexandria
Discussion in Morris
Randi Roth

Charlotte Johnson

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