Monday, April 16, 2012

Exploring America's Diversity

I was honored earlier this month to be among panelists at Minnesota State University Mankato's 2nd Annual Midwest Ethnic Studies Conference. Bremer Bank has been open less than a year in Mankato and the community has welcomed us with warmth and healthy curiosity. In this event, the curiosity was about Bremer’s attention to educating employees on the rich, varied stories and traditions of new immigrants and Native Americans in our communities. “This conference includes lots of the types of stories and experiences we try to offer to our bankers,” I said. “But since they need to be in the bank and available to customers, we do what we can to organize training and cultural experiences right in our bank buildings.”

In our Marshall, Willmar and Redwood Falls banks, for example, we’ll be honoring Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with Bremer/Hmong Days in late May. Of course, ethnic food is always a part of the experience. I snapped a photo of the eggrolls that were part of our conference lunch. See below – hot, fresh and delicious right from the kitchen!

Pictured with me below are co-panelists who I have been privileged to meet in my work in our Bremer communities, including Mankato, Owatonna and Marshall. L-R Abdi Sabrie, Executive Director, African Family and Education Center, Ethan Bates, Community Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership and Ernesto Velez Bustos, Executive Director, Centro Campesino.

Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar Charter

No comments: