Our vision is a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive.
We believe our communities are strongest when all people can fully participate in our region’s opportunities. Southwest Minnesota is home to a strong entrepreneurial spirit, safe communities, high-quality schools and early childhood supports, and high civic participation and volunteerism. We know we have work to do in ensuring all southwest Minnesotans experience real inclusion, equity and access to opportunities.
We put our mission – connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities – into practice every day to make our vision a reality.
Our work can look different from one program, partnership or place to another. Our organizational values guide our work and ensure we bring the same care and commitment to every interaction.
- We believe that dignity and belonging are core human values and that all people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.
- We are a human-centered organization and acknowledge that people have different needs and aspirations.
- We commit to removing barriers that prevent full participation in southwest Minnesota’s abundant opportunities.
- We use our resources to create opportunities for all people to thrive in the communities they call home.
- We value honesty and high ethical standards.
- We are accountable for our words and actions.
- We are trustworthy, fair and respectful.
- We embrace courageous leadership required to live out our mission.
- We value learning and innovation.
- We continuously seek to expand both personal and organizational knowledge, and we are willing to take healthy risks in pursuit of big ideas.
- We are open and responsive to immediate opportunities and challenges.
- We approach problem solving through a deliberate process that relies on experience and experimentation.
- We believe better results come from working together.
- We treat our colleagues, partners and communities with empathy and respect.
- We approach our role in collaborative processes with humility, hospitality and heart.
- We openly share what we learn.
- We believe the future of southwest Minnesota is bright!
- We aspire to achieve great things in our region.
- We are uniquely positioned to take a strategic and long-term view.
- We start with what works and build on the assets in our organization and communities.
Working together to end hate in our communities
We stand against all forms of hatred and racism. Our vision is a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. This can’t be realized while fear and hatred persist. We all have a role to play in building vibrant and welcoming communities. Here are three things you can do daily to make a difference:
- Listen and learn. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, ask questions and seek answers to things you don’t understand. This includes recognizing privilege and biases you may have. Here’s a list of resources to check out.
- Challenge racism, discrimination and hate. Look for ways to improve interactions and change systems within our communities that aren’t inclusive and equitable. Call out racist and discriminatory “jokes,” statements and acts. Be willing to engage with family, friends, colleagues and local leaders to have important, respectful conversations about what words and actions mean.
- Put empathy and kindness first. Crises, division and uncertainty are creating fear and disrupting our lives, and all of us are experiencing it in different ways. Think about how you can help members of your community who are especially impacted through racism, discrimination, lost wages and business revenue, child care and school changes, food insecurity and more.
We must keep working hard — and working together — to ensure all southwest Minnesotans share in a bright future.