Minneapolis Connects July Newsletter

Minneapolis Connects: News and information from Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations

July, 2017

NCR launches its Blueprint for Equitable Engagement Dashboard.

Image of Blueprint Dashboard slides


The Blueprint for Equitable Engagement was adopted by the City Council in May 2016 and is a five year plan to ensure an innovative and equitable engagement system for the City of Minneapolis. NCR is driven by the philosophy that “when residents are informed, connected to their community and feel represented in City government; they are empowered to influence decisions that impact their lives” and uses the plan as a road-map to better achieve our goals and exemplify this philosophy.

The Blueprint Dashboard is the result of a data driven approach to track NCR’s progress towards the five strategies outlined in the Blueprint. The data highlights the accomplishments of some of the department’s key projects and programs, while also identifying areas of opportunity. The Dashboard will be updated periodically and continue to evolve as measurements are developed and refined.

You can view the full Blueprint for Equitable Engagement Dashboard on our department website.  

Sign up now for 2017 Community Connections Learning Labs

Image of residents shaking hands

NCR is pleased to announce the 2017 Community Connections Learning Lab Series. 

The Community Connections Learning Lab Series is a set of eight classes with the following learning objectives:

  1. Expand participants' understanding of equitable community engagement. Discover best practices to avoid common pitfalls. Learn techniques that follow the City of Minneapolis’ Core Principles of Community Engagement based on the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).
  2. Expand participants' understanding of several of the many cultural communities in Minneapolis. Learn historical beginnings, cultural norms and community contacts; all to enhance your engagement effectiveness in those communities. 

The learning labs are offered in two series. Series one will offer 90 minute labs in the afternoon at a City owned location from July through October. Series two will offer 90 minute labs in the evenings from July through December at a community location. This format will give participants maximum flexibility to fit busy and highly demanding schedules. Participants can pick and choose which classes to attend. Those who choose to complete the Community Connections Learning Lab series will be invited to attend a recognition program and will receive a Community Connector Certificate.

Classes are open to City employees, neighborhood and community organization board members, staff and volunteers.  Classes are filling up quickly. Sign up now via the NCR Training Page.

2017 Community Connections Conference report

Image of conference logo

The 6th annual Community Connections Conference was a large success with a record breaking attendance of 540. This year's conference also saw a 10% increase in representation of people of color (40%), compared to 2016 (30%).

The conference theme in 2017 was "Your Voice, Your City, CommUnity" and emphasized bringing people together to build power and unity across cultures and communities. This was accomplished through a strong program of influential speakers, robust conversations, interactive exhibits, and best-practices to impact policies and community-based issues.

You can learn more about the 2017 Community Connections Conference and read the full report on the departments website.

Meet NCR's new Urban Scholars

Image of Urban Scholar Kalyn McConnell

My name is Kalyn McConnell and I am a returning Urban Scholar. I attend Augsburg University studying Social Work with a minor in Psychology. This summer I will be working on community engagement and board recruitment. I will also be helping with the Neighborhoods 2020 project and 2017 Annual Report with the NCR department. 

Image of Urban Scholar Guillermo Pérez

My name is Guillermo Pérez, I'm a first-generation immigrant from Mexico studying political science and Chicano studies at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. I'm very passionate about issues facing my community and I am applying those passions to my work at NCR. As an Urban Scholar at NCR, I go out to different community events to talk about how people can be more engaged in their communities. I also work on various spreadsheets and will help with creating our annual report. 

City meets with East African community to discuss best practices for engagement

Participants at round table meeting

NCR had a great meeting in late May with several East African City employees and various members of the East African community.  The meeting was round-table style and a lot of good recommendations came out of this dialogue.  Community members shared unique ways of informing them about City programs and services such as: at the Mosque on Saturday and Sunday; through short 3 minute videos, through social media such as Facebook, and live question and answer sessions.

The City staff shared their priority information with the community. Examples are: having a workshop for East African developers so they can understand permitting, zoning, etc. Working with the community on crime prevention and reporting, alternative financing for loans, recruiting for boards and commissions and much more.

For more information on East African community engagement, please contact Abdirashid Ahmed at Abdirashid.Ahmed@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-3958

Somali Independence Day 2017

Image of residence at the 2017 Somali Independence Day celebration


The City of Minneapolis has proudly partaken in the Minnesota Somali community's largest event of the year: Somali Independence Day on July 1, 2017 held in Minneapolis. The celebration is part of a week-long series of events including the 57th annual Somali Independence Day Festival, Cup of Nations, Xasuuso (Remember) 1960, weaving classes and more. Events take place at various locations in the city from Saturday, July 1, 2017 through Saturday, July 8, 2017. This year’s theme for the Somali Week is “Promoting Diversity through Unity and Inclusion.” This theme is in line with the City of Minneapolis’ efforts to promote diversity, and empower communities to influence decisions that impact them directly and indirectly, and have an equal voice.

Abdirashid Ahmed, NCR's East African Community Specialist, coordinated the City’s participation at the Somali Week. City Department’s including, Neighborhood & Community Relations, Community Planning & Economic Development, Human Resources, Civil Rights, and Regulatory Services interacted with community members and shared useful information to the community. The Minneapolis 2040 team also gathered community input into the City's comprehensive plan.

The City of Minneapolis is proud to work with community leaders and event organizers for the Somali Independence Day Celebrations.

Juneteenth 2017

Image of City employees at 2017 juneteenth event

The annual Juneteenth celebration took place on Saturday, June 17 at the North Mississippi Regional Park. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery for African Americans. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, TX with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free.

NCR, CPED, Regulatory Services, Civil Rights & 311 represented the City of Minneapolis. The event was a family fun occasion that included a parade, live music, food vendors and much more!  

The Hmong Freedom Celebration – 4th of July Weekend

The Hmong Freedom Celebration is an annual event started by the late General Vang Pao.  During the Vietnam War, the United States recruited, trained, supplied and directed General Vang Pao and his Special Guerrilla Units (SGU) against communist movements in Laos for strategic military operations, including cutting off communist re-enforcement's to fight American troops in South Vietnam.  After the end of the Vietnam War, General Vang Pao was forced to leave Laos.  Many Hmong families and individuals followed him for resettlement as political refugees in the United States. 

In the United States, the Hmong community thrives economically, socially and spiritually.  People prospered and contributed in many ways to society including as business owners, doctors and lawyers, teachers and police officers, policy makers, service men and women in the United States Armed Forces, and enjoy religious freedom. To show deep appreciation to the people of the United States for welcoming the Hmong to America and to inspire the Hmong people to stand firm with freedom and democracy, General Vang Pao initiated the Hmong Freedom Celebration in connection with the United States’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  The event has been celebrated on the 4th of July weekend for the past 37 years drawing families, friends and participants from all over the world including China, Laos, Thailand, France, Canada and Australia.

Disability Rights March and Rally: 27 Years of the ADA

ADA 27th Anniversary logo


Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the United States of America committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. In celebration of the act turning 27 and to reaffirm our commitment to inclusion and rights for all, the Minnesota Disability Rights March and Rally will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 26.

Orientation will begin at 1 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, in the Education wing. The march will begin at 1:30 p.m. to the Minnesota State Capitol. A disability rights rally will be held from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Come for some or all of the events:

  • 1:00: Gathering & orientation at the MN History Center
  • 1:30: Disability Rights March to the Capitol
  • 2:30: Disability Rights Rally in the Capitol Rotunda
  • Featured speakers and entertainment

Learn more about the City with Preserve Minneapolis

Preserve Minneapolis logo

Space is still available in several Preserve Minneapolis walking tours. These tours highlight Minneapolis neighborhoods and architecture and shed new light on the city’s history, culture, and urban design. New tours this year include Prince's Side of the Street and Neighborhood Movie Theaters. Tours last 90 minutes to 2 hours. Tickets are $10, and advance registration is required.  

The 35th Annual Minneapolis National Night Out is Tuesday, August 1, 2017

National Night Out logo

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, holding block parties and getting to know their neighbors as a way to encourage crime prevention. It's a great way to promote community-police partnerships and enjoy a Minnesota summer evening surrounded by friends and family. For more information, see the Minneapolis NNO mission statement.

As with many past National Night Outs, Minneapolis was ranked #1 among all U.S. cities over 250,000 population in 2016.  Over 1,500 events were registered in 2016. Was yours one of them?  We hope so! And save the date for this year: NNO is set for August 1, 2017.

Harrison Neighborhood Association seeks Program Manager

Harrison Neighborhood Organization logo

The Harrison Neighborhood Association (HNA) is hiring a full-time Program Manager. HNA is committed to creating a prosperous and peaceful community that equitably benefits all of Harrison neighborhood’s diverse racial, cultural, and economic groups. The Program Manager will lead the organization’s engagement initiatives, including, working with neighborhood residents and partner organizations building grassroots leadership.

This is a full-time position. Application packets should include cover letter, resume and three references, and be emailed to dave@hnampls.org. The position will be posted until filled.

Linden Hills Neighborhood Council seeks Neighborhood Coordinator

Linden Hills Neighborhood Council logo

The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHINC) seeks a Neighborhood Coordinator. The LHiNC Coordinator’s primary responsibilities are to support the board chairs, the board and committees, increase community involvement, and be the main contact point for the organization. The position requires motivated, independent work, strong initiative and business judgment and a good sense of working with and reaching out to groups and individuals throughout the neighborhood and beyond. The position benefits from having a detail-oriented person with a high degree of follow through, reliability, and interpersonal skills.

This is a 20-25 hour per week position. Please submit your cover letter and résumé, including contact information for three professional references, to info@lindenhills.org or LHiNC - P.O. Box 24049,  Minneapolis, MN 55424. The position will remain open until filled.

Tangletown Neighborhood Association seeks Executive Director

Tangle Town Neighborhood Association logo

The Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA) seeks an energetic, self-motivated Executive Director to help lead its 11-member board and neighborhood into the future.  TNA is beginning a strategic planning process this summer to ensure that resources and efforts are aligned with neighborhood priorities.  The Executive Director will participate in visioning along with board members and its Strategic Planning consultant, and oversee execution of the neighborhood’s strategic plan.

This is a 20-30 hour per week flexible position. Please submit your application along with professional references, and 2-3 writing samples to president@tangletown.org. TNA is currently reviewing applications, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in an alternative format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.

July Events

July 26 is the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

7/1-7/2: Hmong Freedom Festival

7/1: Somali Independence Day Festival

7/4: Tangletown 4th of July Parade and Celebration

7/7: West Calhoun Movie Night

7/8 Kids of CARAG Car Wash

7/8: Hennepin County Master Gardeners - Learning Garden Tour

7/9: VEAP Block Party

7/11: Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social

7/11: Come Build Neighborhood Power

7/11: Prospect Park Summer Concert Series

7/12: North Loop Global Conversations: African Folktales to Contemporary Authors

7/13: Seward History Walks: A Tour of East African Businesses

7/13: Creekview Park Ice Cream Social

7/13: Bryn Mawr Ice Cream Scoop Off

7/13: Live on the Drive

7/13: St. Anthony West Annual Picnic in the Park and Board Meet-and-Greet

7/13: East Harriet PorchFest

7/13: Kingfield Community Garden Tour

7/15: Southeast Asian Freedom Festival

7/15: Rondo Days Celebration

7/15: Windom Park "Dot-mocracy” Ice Cream Social and Movie in the Park

7/16: Hawthorne Movie Matinee

7/16: Twin Cities World Refugee Day

7/16: Minneapolis Sister Cities Day

7/17: MnDOT Community Meeting

7/19: Loring Park Family Fun Night

7/19 & 7/20: Effectively Planning for Community Engagement - Community Connections Learning Lab

7/20: HPDL Ice Cream Social

7/21: Fulton Ice Cream Social and Outdoor Movie

7/21-7/22: Carifest

7/22: Jordan Week of Kindness Kick-off

7/22: Park Siding Park Gardening

7/22: Lyndale Volunteer Appreciation Tiki Party

7/22-7/23: Stevens Square Red Hot Art Festival

7/23: Midtown Festival

7/23: Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha

7/26: American Indian Community - Community Connections Learning Lab

7/26: Disability Rights March and Rally: 27 Years of the ADA

7/26: Elliot Park Pop-Up Museum

7/26: Longfellow Share the River Gorge Canoe Paddle and Ice Cream Social

7/27: Kickin’ Back at Kenny! Summer Festival

7/27: East Isles Ice Cream Social

7/27: HPDL Picnic in the Park

7/27-7/29: FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

7/29-7/30: Loring Park Art Festival


Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

Director, David Rubedor 
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425
105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-3737