Encouraging news! The efforts of many rural Minnesota communities to increasing their focus on ways to remain relevant, vital and stimulate growth appear to be paying off. Check out the latest success stories post on the University of Minnesota, Center for Community Vitality blog.
However, with each new project and movement comes the need for leadership. Back in February, we shared an interview with University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality’s Extension researchers, Ben Winchester and Bruce Schwartau, regarding cultural diversity. As we search for those leaders, are we taking every community asset into consideration? Toby Spanier, Extension Associate Professor in the Center for Community Vitality, offers some valuable insight on this topic.
As reported by Dave Peters of MPR News on May 30th, 2013:
Spanier and several other university researchers interviewed Latino and white leaders in Worthington, Austin, Melrose and Montevideo, trying to determine whether there are better ways to encourage leadership among Latinos. All of those towns have had substantial Latino populations at least for several decades. …Now Spanier has produced the first formal results, a paper he plans to present next week at the Cambio de Colores conference in St. Louis on how communities in the Midwest are dealing with changing demographics.
“The approach to recruiting future leaders needs to be reframed in ways that de-emphasize the traditional concept of a ‘leader’ and instead structure multiple ways for Latinos to participate as helpers and to become part of a leadership team,” – Toby Spanier
For more information on leadership in our culturally diverse communities, go to MPR News’ Making Connections.