Welcoming Community Program wants feedback from the community
Image courtesy of NorthSpan
Community Voices

Welcoming Community Program wants feedback from the community

Community members are invited to take part in an “Inclusion Readiness Assessment,” which started with a virtual meeting on April 14. This assessment is part of a larger project being facilitated by the nonprofit organization NorthSpan called the “Welcoming Community Program.” What does this mean to Cook County? Do we need to work toward becoming a more welcoming community?

The NorthSpan website explains that inclusion is one of the core values that drives Northspan’s work. It has been working on a concept that seeks to foster welcoming communities for people of all backgrounds in northeast Minnesota.

The organization has launched Welcoming Community projects in three areas—Cloquet, the Rock Ridge School District and Cook County.

WTIP checked in with Amber Lewis, the Welcoming Community Program Coordinator, after that initial meeting and she tells WTIP that there was good participation. However, she adds NorthSpan would like to learn more.

To learn more, NorthSpan has launched an Inclusion Readiness Survey and NorthSpan would like to see broad community feedback. They want to hear about the community’s challenges and successes in being welcome and inclusive to all residents. To do that, NorthSpan has launched an online survey that will be open until May 13. You can find the survey here. 

Once the survey is closed, NorthSpan will review and compile the results. The organization will then host a Reporting and Action Planning meeting on May 19. To sign up to participate in that event, community members may register online here.

And what are the next steps? WTIP’s Rhonda Silence learns more from Welcoming Community Coordinator Amber Lewis in this interview.