Rochester is the first Intercultural City in the country

The City signed on for the Intercultural Cities Initiative

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 7:00 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Rochester joined more than 100 cities in Europe, and some in Japan, Korea, Africa, Mexico, and Canada to become an International City; It's the first city in the U.S. to join the initiative.

Joining the Council of Europe's initiative means the city will be assessed using the Intercultural Cities Index. This index will evaluate Rochester's level of achievement and progress over time and allow Rochester to compare ideas with other cities around the world.

Then, the initiative will give Rochester advice on how to best utilize diversity and inclusion, especially in policy-shaping.

"To feel included, to feel that our cultures and our languages and our experiences are valued enriches our cities," explains Rebeca Sedarski, Co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee for the organization Journey to Growth. "I want to go from a positive perspective of being diverse and inclusive and step away from the negative of intolerance."

Surrounding communities in the region will also be able to implement what Rochester learns into their own cities.

Irena Guidikova, Head of division and inclusion programs for the Council of Europe came to meeting at Rochester City Hall from France.

"We have to bring in the original meaning of a connected world that is really rich with diversity that's strong and inclusive," says Guidikova. She's hoping that other U.S. cities will follow Rochester's example.

The Diversity Council, Journey to Growth, and Culture Brokers are partnering on the project. They are raising $50,000 for the 5-year initiative.

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