Austin looks to make a more inclusive city - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin looks to make a more inclusive city

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -

For many in Austin, the Boys High School Basketball team is an example of the community's diversity. 

"We have shining examples when you think about the basketball teams and the soccer teams of really the value when a diverse group of people works together," Jason Baskin, with the Austin Human Rights Commission, said.

But now the Austin Human Rights Commission wants to make sure the whole community works as a team, as well.

"So we've spent around five months talking to a group of people around the community to understand what barriers exist to Austin truly being a welcoming community as well as what we do well," Baskin, said.

They found that Austin has a 23% non-white community, similar to the Twin Cities, and that many community leaders encourage inclusivity.

However, for many reasons, the groups don't interact

"For sure I see the main thing is the different culture to understand how we think, how we move,  how we take decisions, is something we need to work on," Raul Silva, originally from Peru, but now a pastor at Queen of Angels Church, said.

The purpose of the night was to have an open discussion to bring down these barriers and many see it as a move in the right direction.

"The best way for the two cultures to begin to understand each other is to be together, speak out about our difficulties integrating into the community," Silva said.

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