With aging populations and labor shortages in many industries, it is important for rural areas to welcome all residents and provide opportunities for everyone to prosper regardless of backgrounds. Due to the critical nature of equity improvements, MADO has designed strategies throughout the DevelopMN with an equity-focused lens; and the goal to achieve a more equitable economy and a more sustainable environment for all Minnesotans in every region of the state.
Initiatives surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion seek to engage stakeholders in discussions and programs that can assist communities to embrace and celebrate diversity.
Examples of the impacts made by RDOs include:
Rural Equity Learning Community
R5DC has been working on equity and inclusion through their Welcoming Communities and Equitable Economic Ecosystem initiatives. Since 2018, R5DC has worked with over 32 groups, making up nearly 400 individuals, on the Intercultural Development Inventory, helping to increase cultural competency and ability to bridge difference. Eight Welcoming Community Advocacy Groups throughout the five-county region have learned about diversity, equity, justice and inclusion and put forth projects that exemplify a welcoming, inclusive message for those who live here and those yet to come.