The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 4, 2013

Group explores ideas of a welcoming community

(Continued)

MANKATO —

 “It was good to connect with people from other avenues I wouldn’t normally have contact with,” he said.

Ronda Redmond and Katie Boone of Sowelu said they were impressed with the turnout.

“One of the things that makes it a success was the amount of people willing to walk in the door for two hours of talking,” Redmond said. “I’m seeing people exchanging business cards, writing down email addresses.”

Added Boone, “This is community-powered problem solving. It’s all about engaging in the collective. ... People are leaving with a different understanding of community.”

Jessica O’Brien, director of the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services, said she was excited about the potential of these kinds of conversations.

“It’s exciting to hear goals prioritized collectively,” she said.

The ideas discussed at Monday’s meeting will be addressed by a planning committee to determine the next step

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