Organizations pitch ideas to promote diversity at annual DMC summit

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:23 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Destination Medical Center hosted its annual Real Estate Tuesday at Mayo Civic Center. DMC representatives touted achievements, along with plans for future developments for the riverfront and rapid transit.

New this year, representatives from three organizations pitched ideas to promote diversity and help BIPOC communities preserve their culture while also bringing people of all backgrounds together.

“It’s also about sharing power,” city of Rochester diversity, equity, and inclusion director Chao Mwatela said. “Elevating voices of those communities, who didn’t have a space or a voice to articulate what they would like in their community. How they would like their community to grow. Not just for the entire community, but for their specific community.”

Representatives from the Community Mobilization Resources Coalition presented the idea of an intercultural center. It would be a center with shops and community cooking stations.

“Think of this place to be a global kitchen, a marketplace, where you cook up, cook up various things from different cultures. Also, a marketplace for ideas,” Al Lun with CMRC said.

“Another pitch was from the Abubakr al-Seddiq Mosque downtown, the representatives are trying to renovate the space off of Broadway. Representatives said Muslims that work at Mayo Clinic have been leaving Rochester because they don’t have an appropriate place to worship.

“Our city needs to provide for each of the family members,” mosque board chair Rashed Ferdous said. “If it’s not fulfilling the need of one child, the family decides to relocate. So, we lose talent, these are the opportunities we miss.”

Representatives from Pamoja Women spoke, it’s a center for women with East African heritage. It connects them to food, health and work resources.

“Women have so much to offer in our workplace but often face language and culture barriers,” Pamoja Women Co-Founder said. “So, we’re here again trying to tell them to get out, get things done and we’ll help.”

DMC also announced its second round of Mainstreet Grant is available. This time, they are for businesses outside of downtown. One eligible area is in the Northgate/Civic Center Drive part of the city. The other eligible area is near Bear Creek Park in the southeast part of the city.

The organizations will continue to network and seek grants and investors.

For more information on Abubakr al-Seddiq Mosque, click here.

For more information on Community Mobilization Resources Coalition, click here.

For more information on Pamoja Women, click here.

For more information on Mainstreet Grants, click here.