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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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University is Building Community Connections Through Multicultural Network Meetings

Luncheon meetings include brief presentations and networking opportunities.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-14-2016

Mankato, Minn. – A multicultural networking group organized by Minnesota State University, Mankato that provides opportunities for relationship building between nonprofit community organizations will hold its next luncheon meeting Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Open Door Health Center in Mankato.

The monthly meetings, which began about 18 months ago, are usually attended by 50 or more individuals, and nearly 130 organizations have been represented. Participants come from various multicultural organizations, school districts, colleges and universities, city, county and state government offices, scouting and youth organizations and other nonprofit groups. Geographically, meeting attendees have come not only from Mankato, but also from Rochester, Worthington and the Twin Cities.

The luncheon meetings, which include three or four short presentations and time for participants to interact and mingle, are held at various locations, with host organizations providing lunch at no cost to the attendees.

“These meetings grew out of conversations about ways Minnesota State Mankato could reach out to the many diverse groups and nonprofit organizations in our community and invite them to our campus,” said Henry Morris, dean of Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State Mankato. “The meetings have expanded as an excellent way for participating organizations to share their networking resources.”

As a result of the growing interest in the meetings, Morris said, Minnesota State Mankato’s Division of Institutional Diversity has begun compiling a resource directory that will include information about community services, particularly for communities of color. Morris said he hopes the first edition of the directory will be completed later this fall.

Media and nonprofit organizations interested in participating or learning more about the meetings may contact Guadalupe Quintero, Minnesota State Mankato’s director of community partnerships, by phone at 507-389-2811 or by email at

What they are saying

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport:
“At Minnesota State University, Mankato, we strive to make the University a place of inclusion and access for all. This commitment extends beyond our campus to our community as well. We’re proud that the efforts of our Division of Institutional Diversity along with many community participants have made these multicultural networking meetings a tremendous success.”

Abdi Sabrie, executive director of the African Family and Education Center in Mankato:
“The multicultural networking meeting was born out of the necessity for minority communities, leaders, organizations, and people who serve these communities, who normally operate in silos, to regularly network, share stories, social experiences and become allies of change for a better society. One of the many benefits of the multicultural networking meetings for me as a minority leader is that I got to know most minority leaders—those who care about minority issues in southern Minnesota, who are change agents, and who share the same passions for social change like myself.”

Rebeca Sedarski, operations coordinator, Mayo Clinic:
“I have greatly appreciated participating in the multicultural networking meetings at Minnesota State Mankato for the past 1-1/2 years! Their commitment to diversity and inclusion is admirable. I have been able to connect with organizations and agencies in southern Minnesota and learn what they do, and in return they have learned what I do. In my previous position at the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, I was able to bring information from the state legislature on issues of importance to our communities of color living in southern Minnesota. In my new position at Mayo Clinic, I look forward to connect our minority-owned businesses in this part of the state with the Supplier Diversity Program at Mayo Clinic. Thank you again for all the work that you do in connecting all of us!”

Guadalupe Quintero, director of community partnerships, Minnesota State Mankato:
“For me, the multicultural networking meetings have been a great way to build relationships, get new ideas, socialize, learn about services and resources available in our communities and feel a sense of motivation by other members of the network.”

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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