October marked a major turning point for the Make It. MSP. Newcomer Team. 2016 has been a year of research, data gathering and community building. We’ve counted more than 8,000 welcomes in the community, making significant progress on our public pledge. We also heard directly from more than 800 newcomers through focus groups and the MSP Welcome survey.

On October 10th at the Make It. MSP. Summit, we finally had a chance to share our work publicly and preview what’s next in 2017. During the Newcomer Breakout Session, we even had an interactive and competitive game of Family Feud, highlighting top challenges and resources for newcomers relocating to MSP. Team members Thang Holt of Young Professionals of Minneapolis, Melanie Allen of Welcome Matters, and Moira Grosbard of Network Careers dug deeper into key issues, from finding a home to making friends.

Dozens of participants, through their lens as newcomers, HR professionals, co-workers, and community leaders broke up and generated solutions for the workplace and the community. Many groups agreed that a good way to better engage newcomers is to make it easier to facilitate social connections, echoing what we’ve heard throughout the year.

Following our session I joined Ashley Hanson of Saint Paul Hello on the Guthrie Theater stage to announce a new joint effort, MSP Hello. Working in partnership with the current Saint Paul Hello team, the Minnesota History Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MSP Hello will be a signature project of Make It. MSP. in 2017. Quarterly ‘welcome events’ will be one of the main attributes of the project. However, we are also increasing our online presence, creating guides and toolkits for newcomers and allies and much more.

The fun didn’t stop at the summit. Most of the 800+ newcomers we heard from this year indicated the need for easier access to meet, mingle and connect. Making friends and navigating the social climate in Minnesota is hard for newcomers. So when we were set to share the news of MSP Hello with our network, we decided to throw a party! We brought together more than 80 newcomers and partners at Impact Hub MSP in an effort to welcome them, thank them for sharing their insights, and invite them to participate in our 2017 project.

While the formal launch of MSP Hello won’t come until the new year, we are working hard behind the scenes to develop a project team and plan that will include guides and information for new residents, well-curated large and small events, and an official network of partners who can also help welcome and connect them to everything we have to offer.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Make It. MSP. movement by participating in MSP Hello we’d love to have you. You can e-mail me at alexis.yeboah@socialimpact.mn.

Alexis Yeboah is the coordinator of the Newcomers Team at Make It. MSP. She is also the lead liaison between Make It. MSP. and Impact Hub MSP, a coworking and event space for purpose driven professionals. Although not a newcomer herself Alexis is passionate about engaging in authentic connections.

Photo Credit: Jason Taellious


Alexis Yeboah is the coordinator of the Newcomers Team at Make It. MSP. She is also the lead liaison between Make It. MSP. and Impact Hub MSP, a coworking and event space for purpose driven professionals. Although not a newcomer herself Alexis is passionate about engaging in authentic connections.