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 was been approved for funding and began work in September 2018 on an 18-month journey.
- Read the Latest News section for most current updates.
- Visit the registration page to sign up to receive updates on new learning opportunities, events, and general updates from the Initiative.
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Upcoming Events: (click on event title to see details)
Join us every third Thursday of the month for continued community conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. Our recent presentations have prompted much excitement, curiosity, and conversation. For the time being, we will kick off upcoming discussions with prompts about those recent presentations. If you missed an event, you can watch them on YouTube. Links to the presentations are below.
October 17: discussion to follow up Sundown Towns and address our racial history. Location: Tilden Community Center, Room 108, 310 River Street
Recording of Presentation: Sundown Towns Author Visit
November 21: discussion to follow up on Transgender 101. Location: Hastings Social Tavern, 111 3rd Street East. Sponsored by: Hastings Social Tavern.
December 19: discussion of Equity vs. Equality. Location:Hastings Area YMCA, Community Room - 85 Pleasant Drive, Hastings. FREE childcare available!
The Immigrant Experience in Hastings
What is it like to be an immigrant living in Hastings? Meet a panel of your neighbors who are living this unique experience right here in our community. Hear the wide variety of reasons that brought them here, their first impressions of America compared to their lived experience, what they wish people knew, and more.
Our panel moderator is Erica Petersen. Erica is a French teacher at Hastings High School. She grew up in Germany and first experienced the United States as a foreign-exchange student at the age of 16. Erica has lived in Germany, France and the United States, and travels extensively. She makes strong connections with our foreign-exchange students and is an advisor for BLOOM - the HHS diversity group.
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2020
Time: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Location: Hastings Middle School Auditorium
Gray Area Thinking Training
FREE! Open to the Public
THRIVE is thrilled to welcome Ellie Krug back to Hastings for her Gray Area Thinking Training. We’ve all heard the phrase, “diversity and inclusion”, but what does it actually mean to make a workplace or organization or even our personal lives more diverse and inclusive? How can we get beyond grouping and labeling of other humans according to the color of their skin, the religion they practice, or the country in which they were born? Can we really build a just and inclusive world, especially in a time of division?
Even more, how can we make our workplace and lives more inclusive of those who are “Other” and different from “us?” Isn’t it time to at least consider a new approach to human inclusivity—where all humans regardless of differences are valued?
Join national speaker, transgender writer and “human inclusionist” Ellen “Ellie” Krug as she conducts her highly valued human inclusivity training, Gray Area Thinking®. This training will provide an easy-to-understand toolset on how to be more welcoming of anyone who is “Other” in our society.
Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Time: 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Hastings Golf Club, 2015 Westview Drive, Hastings
Dr. William D. Green, local author, professor, and member of the MN Historical Society, will present on the history of Black Suffrage in Minnesota.
Date: February 8, 2020
Location: Pleasant Hill Library, 1490 S. Frontage Road, Hastings
Host: Dakota County Library
Hastings Reads Kickoff Event: Spoken Word Poetry with Kevin Yang
Kevin Yang is a Hmong American multidisciplinary artist from the Twin Cities. Kevin creates primarily in the mediums of spoken word, filmmaking, and theater. He finds most of his inspiration unraveling his experience as a Hmong soul born in the United States.
Date: February 8, 2020
Location: Pleasant Hill Library, 1490 S Frontage Road, Hastings
Host: Hastings Reads
Coming March 30, 2020:
Hastings Reads Author Visit: Renée Watson
"Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her children's picture books and novels for teens have received several awards and international recognition. She has given readings and lectures at many renown places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan. The New York Times calls Renée’s writing, “charming and evocative.” Her poetry and fiction often centers around the lived experiences of black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender." - from Renée Watson's website
Date: March 30, 2020
Location: Hastings Arts Center
Throughout the past year and a half, community members and stakeholders have been working together to analyze the increasing diversity in Hastings and learn about opportunities to improve community support for inclusion and equity. In the past 16 months, this group has hosted 13 events including learning opportunities (Hidden Brain & Unconscious Bias, Bridging Cultural Differences), two community conversations, a Leadership Think Tank, five Equity Labs, and two Train-the-Trainer sessions. In addition, community members have hosted at least five spin-off events including the Hastings Reads author series, the Longer Table event, and the Building Bridges event “Reclaiming Our People and History.” The group has created a one-year snapshot to include additional efforts that have taken place in the community since the proclamation that kicked off the initiative on April 28, 2018.
Through these efforts, three main areas of opportunity specific to Hastings emerged: Increase Cultural Competency, Provide Trust and Safety for All, and Bridging Community. These three themes were heard repeatedly throughout community dialogues and round table discussions. These areas of focus will guide the efforts of this community initiative in the upcoming year.
THRIVE in Hastings
As the Equity Labs ended and themes started to emerge from the data, a new steering committee was formed to begin the next phase of work. This community partnership includes members from the city, school district, Community Ed, YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, local non-profits and city residents. While conversations around diversity and equity have proven to be challenging at times, one area of agreement is the idea that Hastings aspires to be a premier community where ALL people can live, work, visit, and thrive. A rebranding effort was completed around this concept and the initiative will now be known as THRIVE.
A new phase of community engagement will begin in August with monthly speakers presenting on a variety of topics that will assist in continuing learning and conversations around the three identified areas of opportunity. In addition, the final phase of work with the YMCA Center for Equity will commence with leaders from both the public and private sectors invited to participate in an Equity Leadership Institute training. This in-depth training experience seeks to increase understanding of self-awareness as related to intercultural relationships, promote a positive work culture that supports equity and inclusion, and allow for effective communication among diverse populations. If you are interested in sending a participant from your business or organization to the Equity Leadership Institute, please contact Derrick Jaeger at the Hastings Area YMCA.
8/20/19, Powerpoint: Our Changing Demographics
8/20/19, Video: Our Changing Demographics, Jane Vanderpool
9/11/19, Video: Safety & Faith in Intimate Relationships, Dr. Elizabeth Petersen
10/6/19, Video: Sundown Towns Author Visit, Dr. James Loewen
Community and Initiative Information
City and School Board Joint Proclamation April 29, 2018
2017 Hastings Community Survey (National Citizen Survey Livability Report)
15-Month Snapshot: What Have We Accomplished?, August 2019