Austin Public Library hosts workshop on advancing racial equity

The advancing racial equity workshop was held at the Hormel Historic Home.

Posted: Oct 25, 2019 5:26 PM

AUSTIN, Minn- Community leaders from all over in Minnesota are in Austin today talking about diversity. The advancing racial equity workshop was held at the Hormel Historic Home.

About 60 people packed the conference room. Organizer Julie Clinefelter says the goal of this event is to bring communities in Southern Minnesota together to talk about racial inequity and the responsibility to advance it.

Herve Idjidina moved to Austin 5 years ago. The father of three says he first moved his entire family to Boston from West Africa but didn't feel like he could build a life there. So when a distant relative suggested Austin he decided to make the switch.

"It's different my experience in Austin here is the best ever,” Idjidina said. “I was so very fortunate to meet very welcoming people, very interesting people that value human beings."

Idjidina says he loves learning about his new home and that's why he came out to Friday's workshop. Clinefelter says it's important to celebrate people's differences. The library is offering programs that highlight this important topic.

"What I've noticed is that we do have the diversity, the inclusion and the equity piece we might need to work on a little bit more,” Clinefelter said. “The library is a safe place for people to come and meet people that they don't know or that look different from them and to have those conversations. We really wanted to spread that as much as we could from the library out into the communities."

Idjidina is impressed with the job that the library has done and feels the Austin community embraces diversity.
The Austin Public Library plans to continue the conversation and will be hosting Race the Power of an Illusion on Tuesday, November 12 at 6 p.m.

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