Yesterday I attended the 3rd Annual Equity Summit: Belonging in Northeastern Minnesota. Pre-registered attendees numbered at 180. I’m not sure how many registered that day, but the conference area of the Iron Trail Motors Event Center was full. And EVERYONE was there wanting to learn how to create a welcoming and inclusive region.The day started with a keynote by artist Jonathan Thunder. For Rangers who fly to and from Range Regional Airport (a happy topic worthy of its own blog post), we enjoy his work “Manifest’o” walking through the tunnel to our A/B concourse at MSP.
I spoke in the “Lighting Round,” a series of three minute presentations from organizations supporting welcoming and inclusion work, to share our efforts here on “Hello Range.” What I found so inspirational is the number of people working to make our region a place that is healthy and happy for current residents and newcomers alike.
One thing about living rural: we take the initiative and make good stuff happen!
At my table at the entrance of the convention hall I had place paper and markers. I asked folks: What do you love about the Range? The image above includes their responses.
How we see ourselves informs what we project about the Range. Over and over I hear from our folks that we are a proud, resilient, friendly people. As I attended yesterday’s event I was glad to be representing the Range.