Spokes Bike Walk Connect offers an Earn-a-Bike program. Director of Spokes, Sheldon Mains, describes it as a program “where people can come in and work for four weeks on a used bike that we give them. We help them figure out how to fix it. And they leave after four weeks with a working bike.” Spokes teaches biking to new immigrants and this commitment is reflected in a mural that adorns the wall of their bike shop. In the words of Mains: “We did a mural on the wall…of the lounge/classroom/kitchen and it’s a big bicycle with a key…and then on the wall we have the bicycle parts in English, Spanish and Somali.”

Spokes Bike Walk Connect

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The YMCA works “side-by-side with [their] neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive” (The YMCA, 2015). Director of Member Services Brian Kline explains, “One of our stated goals is to make our facilities and everything available to all people…this means having signs in three different languages even though there is not enough room on the sign…Also, [to accommodate the needs of Somali women, who swim clothed] that means extra stress on our filters, extra stress on the chemicals…You have to be more vigilant on the pool chemicals and replacing filters.”

YMCA

Minneapolis, Minnesota

In Copenhagen in 2019, around 25% of the population have immigrant backgrounds, which is much higher than the approximate 10% of national average. The Trampoline House offers job training and services that help members of the immigrant communities transition into the community and the workplace, including hair cuts. They also host other activities such as lectures, exhibitions, meetings, dinners, film screenings, fundraising, legal counseling, and medical assistance along with cooking classes.

Trampoline House

Copenhagen,

Bemidji is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. In 2010, the Sanford Center opened and has become the center of social, cultural and recreational events in Bemidji and the surrounding regional community. In 2015, community members organized the historic Bemijigamaag Powwow at the Sanford Center, attended by over 3,500 community members. The three Tribal Nations were involved, as well as city and state officials including Governor Mark Dayton, facilitating conversations between Native and non-Native community members as well as leaders of the tribes, city, and state. “These are all things that have been helping to build race relations in our community. That’s not to say that we’re done. It’s an on-going process,” reflects Mayor Albright.

Sanford Center

Bemidji, Minnesota


Photo credit: https://www.ci.bemidji.mn.us/?SEC=439EBC08-82ED-4FF1-9395-68B8CA0C4906