Editorial: Riverland’s diversity efforts applauded

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2004

Our region’s population is changing. And with those changes, race issues sometimes surface.

We applaud Riverland Community College for taking the initiative to respond to challenges resulting from these changes with diversity training and anti-racism measures so the entire community benefits.

Thanks to a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation Riverland received a grant for community diversity and anti-racism initiatives. All the projects bring together teams of college and university faculty, staff, and students with representatives from communities of color, K-12 education, law enforcement, city and county government, and business and community organizations. The projects focus on issues related to social justice, racism, economic justice, and human rights.

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A community racism advisory committee formed in 2003 will be expanded and continue to meet to assist the college and community in developing strategies to increase awareness of racism issues and promote mutual understanding. And the college is continuing an extended workshop series for adult women interested in making a change in their lives.

Funded by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Nontraditional Careers, this workshop will include Spanish interpreters and encourages Latinas to enroll.

There will be a special focus on women in non-traditional careers by gender.

A country is a nation of immigrants, founded on diversity. However, over the years, we’ve come to consider newcomers outsiders instead of embracing them &045; as used to be the tradition.

We have so much to learn from each other and can benefit from our diversity. Hopefully, Riverland’s efforts will help more of us come to realize that.