MSP is Transforming
Find a community where you belong and can build your future
How diverse is the MSP region? Will I find community in MSP? Will my family be able to make connections? How welcoming is MSP for people of color?
People in MSP are very community minded, and people get connected by getting involved. The region boasts some of the nation’s highest rates of volunteering and giving. As a result, MSP is home to more community organizations than we can list, including a big network of culturally specific groups. If you’re looking to build meaningful connections with others who share your values, interests, or culture, you can find it here. Through the MSP Hello project, thousands of newcomers to the MSP region – and their families – have been welcomed, interviewed, and connected to community resources. One learning is the region’s dense networks of longtime residents can be challenging for newcomers to navigate. You may want to others who moved to the area for any events and organizations that take an intentional approach to welcoming and connecting newcomers.
MSP and its leaders are growing more diverse. The region is now more than one-quarter people of color, including elected leaders that include the nation’s first Hmong state legislator, Somali American member of Congress, and the first Black openly Transgender woman elected to public office.
The murder of George Floyd and social justice movement it sparked across the world is leading communities and organizations to address inequities across various institutions and networks in MSP. Efforts led by communities of color in MSP are driving change head-on and seeking more participation.
- Find volunteer opportunities through HandsOn Twin Cities
- The MSP Neighborhood Guide is a tool for newcomers to navigate MSP
- The MSP In Color series features stories and perspectives from people of color in MSP
- The Diverse Communities Guide from Explore Minnesota maps cultural spots in MSP
- Pollen Midwest helps residents create and connect to community
- BE MSP and MSP Hello platforms help connect professionals of color and newcomers to MSP
- Discover culturally specific leadership groups such as the African American Leadership Forum, LatinoLEAD, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, and Tiwahe Foundation
- Explore and prepare for board service through the Board Repair initiative
Photo credit: Visitsaintpaul.com (top)
FAMILIES & SCHOOLS
Are there strong schools and youth activities in MSP? What action is happening to bridge the education gaps in MSP? What is childcare like in MSP?
Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the top states in the U.S. to have a baby, raise children, and work as a parent. The school systems also rank highly. However, within these statistics are far different experiences for Minnesotans across races and ethnicities. For example, addressing outcome gaps in the education system between white students and students of color is a top priority for community members across the MSP region. Minnesotans prioritize investments in youth activities, including athletics, the arts, and more. MSP is home to a dense concentration of programs led through our nation-leading parks departments and non-profit organizations. State leaders are prioritizing new investments in affordable, quality childcare.
- See the U.S. News & World Report’s Rankings of MSP School Districts
- MSP continues to rank among the top metros to raise a family in
- Study the Minnesota School Report Card from the Minnesota Department of Education
- Browse the Minnesota Metro Area Map of School Districts from the Minnesota Department of Education
- Read a Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota report on Minnesota’s Education System Shows Persistent Opportunity Gaps By Race
- Explore our many Parks using this guide from Meet Minneapolis
- Learn about Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids from Family Fun Twin Cities
ART & CULTURE
Is MSP a culturally vibrant place? Does the food scene feature culturally specific flavors and locations? Will I find creators and artists of color?
MSP is known for welcoming immigrants and refugees from around the world, and this global influence is reflected in our food, arts, and cultural amenities. Our food scene garners national attention, from farmer’s markets, food halls, and everyday neighborhood spots to our long list of James Beard Award nominees that include some of the country’s top Native, Hmong, Latinx, and Black chefs and restaurateurs.
MSP’s ranking in theater seats per capita (2nd after NYC) is indicative of the region’s vibrant performing arts community. No state invests more in the arts. As a result, thousands of incredible writers, musicians, podcasters, and artists of color call MSP home. Nearly every neighborhood in Minneapolis and Saint Paul is home to a block party or cultural festival. And the region is home to one of the world’s best music scenes, from intimate jazz clubs to classical venues, rock and R&B arenas, or acoustic/folk stages – offering something for everyone.
- Explore cultural heritage through food in these episodes of Relish on Twin Cities PBS
- Check out Eat Drink Dish an award-winning digital food community that builds connection through content, experiences, and events
- View the MSP Cultural Spotlights digital resource to explore culturally-specific business and experiences across the region
- Learn more about the region’s rich cultural history through programming and media from the Minnesota Humanities Center
- Discover the Cultural Districts in MSP from Explore Minnesota
- Learn more about MSP’s Arts, Culture and Heritage from Explore Minnesota, including their round-up of state and local community festivals
- Connect to faith and spiritual communities by checking out the MN Multi-Faith Network
SPORTS & LEISURE
How can I make the most of every season in MSP? Are activities and programs welcoming and inclusive for people of color?
Minnesotans experience all four seasons distinctly – including winters. Each season brings different opportunities to get outside and active, from warm summers and colorful autumns on the trails and waterways to plenty of action on the snow and ice.We boast more shoreline than many coastal states because of our region’s high concentrations of lakes, rivers, and streams. As a result, residents can be found on beautiful public beaches, floating in kayaks and boats, and swimming, fishing, tubing, and more. We also boast the nation’s top parks systems, which feature many of the best trails in the country for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. The region is also home to all major professional men’s and women’s sports team, with state-of-the-art facilities for every league all accessible via a single light rail line that also cuts through collegiate sports venues including the University of Minnesota campus.
Residents of MSP are working to make our vast network of outdoor and sporting assets more accessible and enjoyable for all.
- See what happens at The Great Northern Festival on the event’s website
- Find 7 Things To Do in the Winters in Minnesota by Explore Minnesota
- Plan ahead for winter outings with this Winter Guide by MAKE IT. MSP.
- Learn about our sporting events & venues from Meet Minneapolis
- Check out your options for sports leagues on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board website
- Celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature with the local Outdoor Afro chapter