3. Globally-Oriented Communities

Culturally Enriched Communities (CEC) bridge the local and the global, enabling residents to strengthen global connections and build economically thriving communities.

Approximately 8.3 percent of Minnesota’s population is foreign-born, compared to 13.4 percent nationally–about 1 in 14 Minnesotans. According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, in 2017, the largest groups of foreign-born Minnesotans were born in Mexico (about 66,605); Somalia (27,373); India (28,403); Laos, including Hmong (25,436); Vietnam (18,330); China, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan (19,900); Ethiopia (17,536); and Thailand, including Hmong (17,260). These estimates do not include U.S.-born children of these immigrants. They also likely underestimate the size of our immigrant populations because trust and language issues reduce response rates to Census surveys.



Best Practices

An iconic all-American diner was converted into a Mexican restaurant and market to appeal to Richfield’s changing demographics. In 2000, only 6.3% of the population identified as Hispanic, but as of 2016, that number grew to 16.6%, making it the second largest racial group in the city. The building boasts the aesthetics of a modern diner with the flavors of street-style Mexican cuisine. The market next door caters to the Hispanic community in the area by preserving cultural practices, source of identity, and food security. By adaptively re-using the diner, the City of Richfield was able to keep the iconic structure in the community, practice sustainability in the built environment, and create additional economic value for the community all while making the community more reflective of the people who live there.

Andale Taqueria & Mercado

Richfield, Minnesota


Photo credit: Isabel Subtil

Brooklyn Park has a sizable amount of undeveloped land that they using to recruit global companies who are looking to relocate or expand. “Locating [in] a place that is used to having diversity means it makes it easier for [businesses] to recruit people from other countries because [when workers] get here, it’s more likely they’re going to feel more welcome or not feel out of place, cause you walk around our streets that, you know, diversity is everywhere,” reflects Mayor Lunde. In 2013, Medical device manufacturer Olympus Surgical Technologies announced Brooklyn Park as the site of a new manufacturing and research and development facility. The city has positioned itself as a welcoming enclave for diverse business, receptive and inclusive of varying needs, opinions, and ideas for developing their community as a destination for diversity.

Recruit Global Talent

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota


Photo credit: Loucks

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) mission is to “enrich the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.” Engagement with the diverse cultural groups of the region translates into galleries in which all members of the community can relate to and find ways to connect to their past and heritage. These galleries range from the newly renovated African Galleries to the Tibetan Yamantaka Mandala created by monks of the Gyuto Tantric University while in  residence at the MIA, the first of its kind to be made permanent through a collaboration with 3M. Cultural sensitivity carries through the installation of exhibits, such as Native American shields which according to tradition, should not be facing each other.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis, Minnesota