Inclusive Downtown Think Tank

The Inclusive Downtown Think Tank engages thought leaders, community partners and Minneapolis Downtown Council members in imagining, defining and creating an inclusive downtown. 

Action: The Downtown Think Tank will host a cross-sector, research-to-action work group in a year-long series of guided conversations and hands-on experiences in partnership with the Equity Innovation Center.

Result: Through the work with the Equity Innovation Center, the Downtown Think Tank will advance the collective vision of Minneapolis as one of the nation’s best places to live, visit and do business.

“One key objective is to begin seeing differently, and then acting differently, to better align our individual behaviors with our collective aspirations.” - Jim Vos, participant in the Inclusive Downtown Think Tank

Community Reinvestment Fund

The Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) empowers people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities through innovative financial solutions.

Action: CRF hopes to train and educate their staff, be stewards of communication throughout the organization, lead the effort of changing the way the organization works internally and externally, promote organizational values and inspire dialogue, learning and cross-cultural exchange through participation in the Equity Leader Institute.

Result: Through its work with the Equity Leader Institute, CRF is focusing on four main goals: achieve staff education, vendor diversity, talent management and effective communication with the communities the organization serves.

“We believe that partnering with the YMCA aligns with our organizational values and will help us achieve our goals, while forging a longstanding relationship in the community.” – Kavita Wishart, chair of CRF’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

City of Hastings

The Hastings City Council and the Hastings Public School District adopted a joint resolution to proclaim common beliefs, aspirations and commitments to ensure that Hastings is a safe and caring community for all.

Action: The City of Hastings and the Hastings Public School District addressed the broad nature of diversity by declaring a commitment to increase awareness and address the needs of a changing population and to defend the rights and privileges of every person for fair treatment and full access. The Hastings City Council approved funding for a financial partnership between the city, the school district and the YMCA that will support bringing in advisors and experts to help guide the Hastings community on this path.

Result: The YMCA Equity Innovation Center is helping the City of Hastings and Hastings Public School District identify and address specific issues affecting the town of Hastings, provide community training for both leadership and community members and assist with empowering community leaders to carry on future equity work.

“What has impressed me the most about the YMCA Equity Innovation Center is that they have such broad experiences and a deep well of resources to lean on when developing a customized approach for every unique group. They invested the necessary time into our community to understand what our needs are, trusted our perspective and advice on what assets and approaches would work well and have continued to support us through our journey.” - Mark A. Zuzek, superintendent of Hastings School District