Let's Talk Diversity and Inclusion
The Hastings Public School District and the City of Hastings invite community members to attend a kickoff event intended to expand a community-wide conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The event, planned for Sunday, April 29, will include a joint resolution by the City Council and the School Board that articulates common beliefs, aspirations, and commitments of the city and the school district. Information will be provided about diversity within the community, current and future efforts to ensure equity and inclusion, and upcoming engagement opportunities for citizens, business owners, and community leaders to learn and work together to promote a more welcoming and inclusive community. A free ice cream social will be included.
Beginning in November of 2016, a group of community leaders and citizens, including representatives from the City and the school district, have been engaged in dialog to understand the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in Hastings. Periodic discussions presented ever growing and changing statistics, a broadening understanding of diversity, and conversations with a variety of residents to understand personal experiences, concerns, needs, and aspirations for the Hastings community. Community leaders are now hoping to expand the conversation and facilitate community-wide learning opportunities in order to embrace cultural differences and commonalities throughout the city.
During Mayor Paul Hicks’ State of the City address in early February, he introduced the initiative and promised that action steps would be forthcoming. “The faces of Hastings are changing. It is time we begin a community dialog on how we can become a more welcoming and inclusive community,” said Hicks. Ending with a quote, he continued, “We must realize that strength and opportunity, economic and otherwise, lies in our differences, not in our similarities.”
Mark Zuzek, Principal of the Hastings Middle School, has seen the changes firsthand. “This community is far more diverse than people are aware of, and that diversity is growing rapidly,” says Zuzek. “It is my hope that by coming together, our formal institutions, businesses, and residents can join in this social movement in Hastings to ensure a safe and welcoming community where we provide equitable access and celebrate our differences.”
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Hastings High School commons – enter through lower level entrance
200 General Sieben Drive, Hastings, MN 55033
Community leaders, business owners, and residents are encouraged to attend the kickoff. Interested groups are asked to host a table. Simply commit to bringing six to eight people to the conversation and a table will be reserved for your group at no charge. All attendees are encouraged to register for the event via Sign-Up Genius at https://goo.gl/5j7qwv. For more information, or to request and interpreter, please contact Mark Zuzek at 651-480-7066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information Contact:
Lee C. Stoffel
City of Hastings
Hastings Middle School
*Press Release was originally published on April 4, 2018.