MSP is Transforming
Find a community where you belong and can build your future
We know you likely have questions about living in MSP
Moving to a new place is exciting, but also stressful. Recent years have reinforced old questions about the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul Region (MSP) and introduced new ones, as well. MSP has been transforming, both as a global hub in the post-pandemic economy and the epicenter of a racial reckoning. The changes have posed big challenges, revealed major opportunities, and inspired bold new actions across MSP.
So, we’ve gathered resources and information you can use to help answer some of the most important questions you may have about the region.
Safety & Accessibility
From public safety to transportation, MSP is transforming. Navigate these resources to learn more.
Is MSP a safe place for me and my family? How are leaders working to ensure safety improves for people living in MSP?
National data indicate MSP is neither the safest nor least safe region. Everyone wants and deserves to feel safe in their own community. Yet, people experience public safety differently. What makes one person feel safe may make another feel unsafe or even threatened.
In MSP, community members are working together in new ways to clearly understand how to reimagine public safety through policies and initiatives that can work for everyone. The following resources highlight some of the efforts underway in MSP.
“The belief is that, as positive change takes hold within this community, transformation will radiate outward to everyone else, setting the stage for lasting change. . .
Now we’re at a stage where we’re ready to invite partners and leaders who are willing to do things differently by centering the Black community in a way that instills a level of hope and determination. The process, methodology, and even the relationships we’re forming are fluid, growing and evolving.”
– Marcus Owens, Former Executive Director of the African American Leadership Forum and United By Black leader
- Pollen Midwest’s highlights from the voices of MSP Youth
- Public Safety Forum with Minnesota’s Black Law Enforcement Officers
- Reimagine Public Safety series from Pillsbury United Communities
- Roundup on The Future of Public Safety in Minneapolis by Meet Minneapolis
- Community Safety update from the City of Minneapolis
- Minneapolis Foundation’s Fund for Safe Communities
- Saint Paul Downtown Improvement District initiatives
- Innovative, community-based public safety programs and initiatives identified by United By Black, include:
» We Push For Peace
» UWAAF (Until we all are free)
» Change equals opportunity
» Man Up Club
» 21 Days of Peace Clergy initiative
» A Mother’s Love
» The Truce Center
» MN Freedom Fund
» MN Safe Streets
» MACGV (Mothers Against Community Gun Violence)
Are there high-quality and affordable options to get around? Is the public transportation system safe and reliable? Can I commute with or without a car?
MSP boasts one of the lowest commute times of any large metro area. The region is home to a diverse and growing range of transportation options, from new light rail infrastructure and a strong bus network to one of the most robust biking systems in the nation. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is one of the top ranked airports in North America.
Community members are working to improve transportation safety from road to rail and beyond. MSP’s Metro Transit system has been named best in the nation, and is continuing to improve safety and accessibility for users of all ages.
- Refer to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Winter Guide: Biking from MAKE IT. MSP
- Learn about Getting Around MSP from U.S. News & World Report
- Watch this video on accessibility to learn how to make the most of MSP’s public transit system
Is MSP an affordable place to live?
MSP is a tremendous value. Our cost of living is more affordable than the coasts without needing to sacrifice career opportunities or amenities. It’s also a rewarding place to purchase a home. While Minnesota is a higher-tax state, investments help provide some of the highest-quality, low-cost options for visiting the country’s best parks, museums, shopping centers, and more.
However, like many other growing regions, affordability can be difficult to balance. That’s why leaders are working to take innovative steps to addressing housing shortages, including eliminating single-family housing zoning and implementing rent stabilization programs.
- Watch this PBS News Hour video: Minneapolis ends single family zoning
- Read this article from The Ascent: Both Twin Cities Make List of Top 10 Most Affordable Cities
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
Will there be other career opportunities in MSP besides the job I’m considering? Will my values be shared in the workplace?
MSP is home to the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies because its economy is one of the most diverse in the world. It’s referred to as a headquarters economy, where global leaders in industries like health care, agriculture, financial services, retail and beyond all call home. The same is true for fast-growing startup firms in those industries, many of which partner with or spin out of large corporations.
Companies that call MSP home include well-known brands like Target, Best Buy, General Mills, 3M, and many more. As a result of all these global headquarters being concentrated in one place, MSP is a great place to not only get a job but grow a career. The region is also home to a thriving creative economy, one of the country’s largest non-profit sectors, and a state government capitol. As a result, MSP is home to the largest chapters of many of the country’s top professional associations and networks.
- Watch this Greater MSP video: MSP Transforming – Driving Growth Series
- Visit the Twin Cities Business website
- Explore the region’s employers in various industries through Virtual Tours by MAKE IT. MSP
- Read about the Major Industries and Sectors in MSP, courtesy of Minnesota Employment and Economic Development
- Explore opportunities at employers committed to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion at People of Color Careers
- Connect to local and national leadership programs via Minnesota Compass’ Leadership Program Directory
- Browse opportunities with small businesses via Coimatan’s Small Business Job Board
EQUITY & INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE
What are companies doing to build more inclusive workplaces? Will I be able to thrive and make connections working in MSP?
Employers in MSP are extremely collaborative. That spirit of collaboration extends to investments, policy changes, and employee groups dedicated to transforming the workplace. Executives from the region’s largest employers are working in partnership through efforts like the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity, a collaborative of more than 80 companies focused on equity for Black Minnesotans. Employee groups exist both within MSP companies as well as across headquarters through initiatives like TC-BAAND. Leaders continue to grow and learn from each other though the annual Forum on Workplace Inclusion, the world’s largest convening on the subject, based here in Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roundtable (TC-DEIR).
- Check out GREATER MSP’s “MSP Transforming” video series: Advancing Racial Equity: Discovery and Advancing Racial Equity: Discussion
- Read United by Black, Powered by All by Insight News
- Hear from Black regional leaders about efforts to address racial disparities
- Read more about how MSP is Committed to Inclusive Growth by Join Us MN
- Spark important conversations with your team using the BE MSP Workplace Inclusion Toolkit
- Find expertise and resources from the Center for Economic Inclusion