Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Hastings

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 working to expand the conversation and facilitate community-wide learning opportunities in order to embrace cultural differences and commonalities throughout the city. A partnership with the YMCA Equity Innovation Center has been approved for funding and will begin work in September 2018. 

Visit the registrations page to sign up to receive updates on new learning opportunities, events, and general updates from the Initiative. 


Upcoming Events: (click the arrows to see all event dates/times)

Community Equity Labs

Equity Innovation Labs

All Are Welcome!

The YMCA Equity Innovation Center will lead us in a series of community engagement sessions in which community members will walk through hands-on learning and reflecting exercises to develop a common understanding of identified challenges. Each session will be followed by hands-on learning assignments that will take place throughout the five-month period.


All sessions will be held at the Dakota Pines Banquet Facility, 2015 Westview Drive, Hastings, MN 55033

Session Dates and Times

  1. Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6-9 p.m. 
  2. Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 6-9 p.m.
  3. Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 6-9 p.m.
  4. Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 6-9 p.m.
  5. Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 6-9 p.m.

Accommodations (Food and Childcare)

Doors open at 5 p.m.

A buffet dinner option will be available through Dakota Pines. The menu for Tuesday, January 15 will include a Taco Bar with chips, salsa, and rice for just $10 (now accepting cash or cards!). Email Nicole with special dietary requests.  

The bar will be open for service prior to the event. Soda and water will be offered free of charge. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

Childcare will be offered onsite for kids ages 6 months through 10 years by the YMCA KidStuff program. This option is free of charge for event attendees.

The Longer Table Event Planning Mtg

Join a group of Hastings residents who are working to plan a Longer Table event in Hastings. The event will take place on Sunday, June 23, 2019. This concept is inspired by the quote, "If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence." All residents, old and new, will be invited to a community picnic. Join us to plan this wonderful, new event for Hastings.

Meeting Schedule:

  • Nov. 8
  • Dec. 6
  • Jan. 3
  • Feb. 7
  • Mar. 7
  • Apr. 4
  • May 2
  • June 6

Meeting Times and Location:

  • All meetings are from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hastings Area YMCA in the Conference Room
  • Please bring a form of ID for entrance to the building.

Event Chairs:

Latest Updates


Equity Lab #2:  11/27/18

Nearly 75 Hastings community members gathered at the Dakota Pines Club the evening of November 27th to take the next steps to create a more Inclusive Hastings. During the first part of the meeting, the group viewed three different videos, all relating to how different people see, experience, and talk about the concept of race. These videos, plus a review of six current Hastings stories/case studies, provided the foundation for rich small group discussions.

The second part of the meeting focused on the “Empathy” phase of Design Thinking. The group discussed the themes chosen at previous listening sessions that define areas of opportunity for Hastings: “Community Conversations,” “Cultural Competence,” and “Trust & Safety”. From there, each participant selected a focus group to join.

For those of you who attended, please remember to think about the person or family you designed in your group. How might that person have "pains" or "gains" during this holiday season in Hastings?


Equity Lab #1: 10/23/18

Our first Equity Lab, facilitated by staff from the YMCA Center for Equity and Impact Lives, Inc., was attended by 61 community members. Participants were asked to share what they have seen, heard, and observed when it comes to equity and inclusion. We then worked through exercises involving real-life stories of someone feeling excluded in Hastings. Finally, the group brainstormed the most pressing issues facing Hastings in terms of equity and inclusion. Collecting all the feedback, Impact Lives staff have narrowed down these issues into three main areas of opportunity in Hastings: Trust and Safety, Community Building, and Cultural Competence. In our next meeting, we will dive into the opportunities in each area and decide where best to focus our energies as a community. 

Observations and Pressing Issues

Opportunities and Insights - worksheet for session #2


Leadership Think Tank: 9/29/18


Our work with the YMCA Equity Innovation Center and Impact Lives, Inc. kicked off on Saturday, September 29th, with the Leadership Think Tank. A group of nearly 40 people in various leadership roles in Hastings spent the day learning how to look at the world through an inclusive lens, the changing demographics in our city and state, how to lead systemic change, and identifying areas of opportunity in Hastings. Currently, staff at Impact Lives, Inc. are gathering all the data from this event to create a plan of action that will help us design a more inclusive Hastings. This plan will be presented at the upcoming Equity Innovation Labs detailed above. Everyone in the Hastings community is encouraged to participate in the Equity Labs.

Think Tank PowerPoint Presentation

Think Tank Recap - worksheet

Think Tank Interactions Transcribed


Community and Initiative Information

City and School Board Joint Proclamation April 29, 2018

Hastings City Council Approves Funding for Partnership with YMCA and ISD 200, July 9, 2018

2017 Hastings Community Survey (National Citizen Survey Livability Report)


Community Feedback

Below is the raw, unedited data collected at table conversations on April 29th:

Raw data, Community Feedback, Question1: What would a welcoming community look like?

Raw data, Community Feedback, Question 2: What will you do to make Hastings a welcoming community?

Below is the same information, coded and organized into themes:

Coded Community Feedback, Question 1: What would a welcoming community look like?

Coded Community Feedback, Question 2: What will you do to make Hastings a welcoming community?

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