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Equity Metrics

The following is a sample of key community metrics. Please click tabs and images to explore details.

Wellness Disparity
Education Gaps
OCR Findings (Rochester)
Demographics Trend and Challenges

Wealth: Data courtesy of MN Compass

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Mental Health

Mental Health







General Education: Data courtesy of MN Compass

3rd Grade Reading by income

3rd Grade Reading by income

8th grade math by income

8th grade math by income

HS School Graduation by Income

HS School Graduation by Income

% of immigrants working poor

% of immigrants working poor

Foreign Born Adults Below Poverrty

Foreign Born Adults Below Poverrty

Homeownership rate by Income

Homeownership rate by Income

Office of Civil Rights        Tracking RPS Progress 

% of Referrals by Race

% of Referrals by Race

Referrals by Race

Referrals by Race

Gifted or 7th & 8th Grade Algebra

Gifted or 7th & 8th Grade Algebra

Math/Chemistry/Physics Enrollment

Math/Chemistry/Physics Enrollment

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions




General Trend: Data courtesy of MN Compass

Workfoce Shortage

Workfoce Shortage

Increasing Diversity

Increasing Diversity

Livable Wage

Livable Wage

Education Gap

Education Gap

The following is a sample of Rochester Area community assets (organizations and projects) at work to bend the disparity trends.  Search more  ...

Education Organizations/Projects

39 Projects registered shown in alphabetical order at the following:

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Best Practice

34 Projects registered shown in alphabetical order at the following:

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Youth Organizations/Projects

40 Projects registered shown in alphabetical order at the following:

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D&I Status/News

Search more Beam status ...

World's Best Workforce Plan goals not met

Slow progress. 5 Goals not met:  All children are ready for kindergarten, Third-grade literacy, Close all academic achievement gaps, Have all high school graduates career and college ready, Graduate all students from HS

November 27, 2017 PB: Read more

In the Shadow of Growth Forum: Pathways to Prosperity and Well-being

At the October 5 C4G forum, Paul Flesinner talked about a national pilot project to stop generational poverty and what we need to do within the current system to accomplish this now.

October 16, 2017 Read more

Diversity Council Rochester Area Racial Attitude Survey

Luther College researchers released a Diversity Council presentation: At the Cross Roads: 2016 Olmsted County Racial Attitudes and Actions Survey

September 30, 2017 Read more

Mayo Clinic Health Disparities Research Lecture by Dr. David Williams

Dr. David Williams in his Keynote Address at the Mayo Research 2017 Annual Health Equity retreat.

September 27, 2017 Read more

City Council Discussing Affordable Housing

City Council's Committee at Large discussed Affordable Housing andCouncilman Michael Wojcik's counter proposal. 

September 21, 2017 Read more

Rochester A City of Compassion (RocCoC) Charter of Compassion Declared by Rochester City Council

2017-09-18 Rochester City Council signed off on Rochester Charter of Compassion.

September 19, 2017 TBD: Read more

EquityLogic (Becoming the Solution) August Status

Diversity Council is engaging with the following on EquityLogic opportunities.

September 13, 2017 TBD: Read more

Youth & Whole Families August Status

In discussions with a number of SE MN schools per August briefing.

September 13, 2017 TBD: Read more

September/August Allies & Advocates Progress

Engagements include UMR.  Also working on a number of 4Q and 2018 opportunities. 

September 13, 2017 TBD: Read more

September, August , July , June & May News from Community Focus Team

September, August, July, June and May, 2017 Community Focus Team news and meeting notes.

September 11, 2017 Read more

Search more Beam status ...

Diversity/Inclusion Projects
Project Phase Definitions

The following defines the various project phases:

  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

  • Hawthorne Education Center: Adults, 17 years and older, can improve their skills in reading, writing, math and computer. Face to face classes are available with a teacher, as well as computer-based programs. These classes can help you get prepared for college and/or employment. Hours: 8:30 a.m. -8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Allies & Advocates

  • Diversity Council: Allies & Advocates is a community response program that nurtures and supports individuals experiencing heightened anxiety, uncertainty, or incidents of hate/bias in this challenging social and cultural climate. We have been receiving communications regularly and increasingly from individuals deeply affected by what is transpiring here in Rochester, in our state, nationally, even globally. We want to be able to field these calls with empathy and wisdom. We decided to tap our greatest resource – compassionate people.

Art of Participatory Leadership

  • Rochester Community & Technical College: Sponsored by a coalition of community organizations, this three day training will provided to 25-30 existing and emerging leaders with a particular focus on inviting participants from Rochester’s diverse ethnic and racial communities.

Bias/Hate Crime and Incident Response

  • Olmsted County Human Rights Commission: To execute an effective community response to bias/hate crimes and to bias/hate incidents that supports the victims and victims' families.

CDI Bridges

  • Community Interfaith Dialogue on Islam (CIDI): The bridges already exist. Let's CROSS them!

Collaborative Leadership Fellow Program

  • CLF: Strengthen community capacity for collaborative leadership, and Ensure succession of community leadership invested in multi-sector solutions to complex community issues.

Community Beam to enable community collaboration

  • Many best-practiced communities have implemented community web-based dashboards to provide a "read-out" of the health and wellness metrics of the community. DMCC's website is a push technology and not so much as social, collaborative virtual teaming site. Olmsted County, Mayo, OMG (and others) have just completed a community health study and published a report. We should go further and have a plan to be more agile and responsive in changing statistics by implementing a dashboard.

Community Center Northwest of Rochester (Empowerment Center)

  • Center City Housing: A project for homeless families in the Rochester area is seeking funding for what the planners are calling the "Empowerment Center" to be housed in a former elementary school. Center City Housing Corp., a nonprofit based in Duluth, announced Thursday that more than 80 percent of those that participated in a campaign planning study support the idea of turning the East Gage School site into a community center, to be called the Empowerment Center.

Community Leaders Creating Change

  • Diversity Council: A DC initiative to provide individuals from underrepresented populations with self-advocacy skills and an understanding of bias.

Compassion Studies

  • Rochester Community & Technical College: The new Compassion Studies (HUM 1500) course will explore compassion as a subject of academic inquiry--emphasizing both its timely and timeless aspects including notable historical traditions and thinkers, as well as contemporary figures and findings. Some key questions considered in this course include what is compassion; do humans have a duty to be compassionate; and why does compassion matter, to whom and to what? The course will also feature readings, discussions, videos, and lectures that address compassion as it relates to diverse subject areas.


Develop Phase

Closing referral disparities (resolution agreement with Office of Civil Rights)

  • Rochester Public Schools: Need to close the disciplinary gap. Black and Hispanic students are referred to the office at a significantly higher rate when compared to white students and Asian students. Black and Hispanic students receive In-School-Suspensions at a significantly higher rate when compared to white students and Asian students. Black and Hispanic students receive Out-Of-School-Suspensions at a significantly higher rate when compared to white students and Asian students. (employment hub)

  • Rochester-area Chamber of Commerce: A central community portal for employers and job seekers to connect and to find other information about the community. A web platform to connect people, resources and employment in SE Mn. Creates the economic and work culture landscape of our region.

J2G Become a Cohesive Connected Region

  • J2G Regional Committee: Objective: Foster Dialogue to Forge a Shared Regional Identity and Explore Benefits and Alternatives for Comprehensive Regional Planning & Development

Regional Video Projects

  • Journey to Growth Partnership: The Regional Community Video project is collaboration between Journey to Growth (J2G) and SE MN Together. Over the past 18 months a committee of regional leaders have been meeting on a regular basis discussing ways to promote a unified message about our Southeast Minnesota region. These meetings led the team to travel throughout the region. It was discovered each community had fascinating unique features, from how the town was formed to how the town has changed. SE MN Together (SEMNT) has been hosting regional meetings throughout Southeastern Minnesota. J2G and SEMNT discovered they were on a common path in regards to marketing our region and decided to collaborate on the Regional Community Video Project (RCVP). The goal of the Regional Community Video Project (RCVP) is to further move us towards becoming a more connected and cohesive region while celebrating our uniqueness through creativity and storytelling.

Rochester Racial Justice Toolkit

  • RRJ: The Toolkit is a compilation of articles, guides, news, videos, social media, and other tools from several online sources on racial justice and Black Lives Matter activism. The site is a work in progress with ongoing updates and contributions to each section. Please contact us with any suggestions or resource contributions! The Toolkit is an online social justice resource rooted in a committment to radical love and service to the Rochester, MN community. ​

The Landscape of My Familiar: A documentary photography project

  • Mieke Strand Photography: Within this landscape, I am documenting the old and new. The project is a record of this time of change, and my contribution toward weaving the stories of new Minnesotans into our welcoming but wary culture. I am making photographs of Minnesotans in small towns across the state, which will be paired with my subjects’ stories and personal histories. The photographs include the Americans of European ancestry I grew up with and immigrants from the Somali, Mexican and the Hmong diasporas, among others.TBD


Plan Phase

Cradle to Career

  • United Way of Olmsted County and Rotary Clubs of Rochester: It takes a village to raise a child. To achieve different results, we must work together differently than we have in the past and align our collective efforts from cradle to career.

Diversity Council Education Equity Plan

  • Diversity Council: Educational Equity exists when all individuals are fully prepared for the roles of their choice, regardless of personal or social circumstances. Educational Equity requires systems of support that result in full access to opportunities that lead to personal growth.

Improve health insurance coverage for minority groups in Southeast Minnesota

  • TBD: While MNsure boasts of plummeting uninsured rates among Minnesotans, a closer look shows that certain minority populations who have been left behind, in particular Latinos

In City for Good (In the Shadow of Growth)

  • In the City for Good Steering Committee: City for Good is coalition of eight Action Groups addressing deficiencies in the DMC plan: Living Wages, Transportation, Affordable Housing, Sustainability, Social Services, Education, Social Justice and Historic Preservation.

Locks of Compassion

  • Catholic Charities: Considering a lock is defined as a device that restricts access and confines, you may wonder how it can possibly be associated with compassion. But, did you know a lock can also be a symbol of promise, enduring friendship and love? A lock links and unites one to another. In many parts of the world “love locks” attached to bridges and even metal trees have expressed uniting one to another. The “Locks of Compassion” project will re-create a symbolic expression of unity regarding a spirit of compassion for the refugee children and families we serve. With a gift of $10 you will be provided a lock to decorate with signs, symbols, and words of compassion.

Project FINE (Focus on Integrating Newcomers through Education)

  • FINE: FINE brings together resources and workforce solutions from across an 11-county region in Southeast Minnesota that promote inclusivity. Training sessions will also be held for employers on best practices for hiring and retaining diverse employees.

Prosperity Initiative

  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation: Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation has launched the Prosperity Initiative, a program intended to promote minority-owned business growth in southern Minnesota. Over the next two years, SMIF will work with the Small Business Development Center of Rochester to identify and speak with minority business owners interested in growing their companies in southern Minnesota, the release says. This program is funded in part by Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Rochester A City of Compassion (RocCoC)

  • Rochester MN A City of Compassion: Help Rochester to be a more compassion city via the following 3 Focus areas: (1) Honoring and supporting compassionate thought and action already existing in our community (2) Growing a culture of compassion as a binding force in our community (3) Creating opportunities for meaningful participation in compassionate actions

Rochester-Southeast Minnesota Campus for Single Mothers and their Children

  • Jeremiah Program: Jeremiah Program Rochester-Southeast Minnesota launched its campaign for a campus in Rochester to serve 40 single women with children from Southeast Minnesota, with the assistance of a gift from the Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, MN.

SE Mn Together: A regional community growth initiative

  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation: Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved funding for three projects through its $100,000 One Big Thing Grant and Regional Community Growth Initiative (CGI). Thirty communities surrounding the Rochester area have collaborated through SMIF's 2014 One Big Thing Grant to participate in the Regional CGI. The CGI was developed to bring together community leaders in southeastern Minnesota to position themselves for future growth in response to the City of Rochester's implementation of Destination Medical Center and Journey to Growth led by Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.


Concept Phase

AVID: advancement via individual determination implementation in RPS

  • Rochester Public Schools: AVID is not just another program… at its heart, AVID is a philosophy Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. Established more than 35 years ago with one teacher in one classroom, AVID today impacts nearly 1.5 million students in 46 states and 16 other countries/territories. View our AVID Snapshot.

CLF 2015 D&I Community Engagement Initiative with 125 Live (Share Diversity Stories)

  • CLF: Through a three-part series, the 124 Live staff, board and members will have an opportunity to be enriched through stories, training and collaboration. 125 LIVE will be prepared to support diverse inclusive program, which will enrich the lives of all seniors in our community

City for Good Education: Pathway for parents to have more involvement with their children's education

  • CIty for Good: TBD

Community Cultural Center

  • Journey to Growth Diversity and Inclusion Committee: A physical place/space for interactions among diverse groups

Diversity In Action Initiative

  • Diversity in Action: Program to assist students that aren’t necessarily college bound with getting into areas that don’t require a 4 year degree. He has links with employers looking for young people who are interested in being plumbers, carpenters, electricians and etc. He is looking at how to work within the schools here in Rochester to expose young people to alternative careers. I thought that the two of you might be a good connection since quite a bit of his consideration would be working with youth from diverse backgrounds as well as supporting educators in working with the students.

Food for Thought for Diversity Wellness

  • Diversity Council/Lotus Foundation: Food and nutrition is important to all people. Access to nutrition is especially important to marginalized groups. This project educates people how good food can be made available. This project will promote and help identify affordable, good tasting, nutrient-rich foods" to difference cultural groups. Taking into account: (1) embracing cultural traditions (2) learn from each other (3) combine with other healthy living ideas.

Integrated Recreation, Education, Living pace (iREL) Rochester Family Y 2020 Plan Concept

  • Rochester Area Family Y: Plan for the next 50 years of the Y in Rochester Area to contribute to: Healthy Living, Social Responsibility and Youth Development.

Intercultural Cities Initiative (ICI)

  • Journey to Growth Diversity and Inclusion Committee: The Intercultural City Initiative is a bold effort on the part of a wide variety of organizations and individuals to align the collective power, creativity, expertise, and energy of our cities toward a future of inclusive growth. Inspired by the comprehensive and coordinated approach of the Council of Europe Intercultural City program, Minnesota’s Intercultural City Initiative is focused on using high leverage influence strategies to realize this future faster.

Love Music, Hate Racism - Minnesota

  • TBD: TBD

Next Gen Community Information Sharing System (CISS)

  • Hack-a-thon: Help identifying requirements and architectural implementations for the open-source version of the CISS system.



Reconnect current diversity & inclusion ideas and plans to similar overaching diversity plans from the past

  • There are a number of worth-while projects and initiatives being proposed and executed to enhance diversity and inclusion. Some ideas are brand-new while many have been documented and suggested before in effort such as 21st Century Partnership: Community Strategic Plan for Diversity in 2001. This project attempts to reconcile the current with the past to avoid "re-inventing the wheel".