Neighborhood & Community Relations

Crown Roller Mill, Room 425
105 5th Avenue South 
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-3737

Blueprint for Equitable Engagement

The Blueprint for Equitable Engagement is a multi-year strategic action plan to ensure an equitable community engagement system for the City of Minneapolis.

The City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) department and the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) are utilizing an engagement strategy consistent with the City’s adopted Core Principles of Engagement to create the Blueprint for Equitable Engagement to ensure the City’s engagement efforts are equitable in their approach and implementation. An equitable engagement system ensures that all community voices are sought and valued and that decision makers reflect the communities of which they serve. The Blueprint for Equitable Engagement focuses in the following areas of the City’s engagement work:MHNA_NNOPhoto

  1. Neighborhood organizations: We aim to help neighborhood organizations assess whether or not their outreach efforts, board decision making processes and distribution of resources is being conducted with a lens of equity and inclusion. The City intends to include the 70 neighborhood organizations as partners in addressing racial disparities in our community. With access to local political and social resources neighborhoods are able to utilize millions of dollars annually and become central places of empowerment for marginalized community members;
  2. City's board and commissions: The City has a goal of having the advisory and planning boards and commissions reflect the diversity in the community. The City Council charged both the NCR department and the NCEC with making recommendations on the best way to achieve this goal. Recommendations have been developed and are in either being considered or implemented.
  3. City enterprise outreach and engagement. The NCR department supports the community engagement efforts of City departments and connects this work with the efforts stated above.

The NCR department’s Access and Outreach team will support the aforementioned efforts. The Access and Outreach team is dedicated to ensuring that equitable engagement practices are utilized where cultural norms and/or practices, language and disability create barriers. Specific initiatives that support equitable engagement include ADA support, the Latino Engagement Task Force and the American Indian Memorandum of Understanding. The department has initiatives to strengthen engagement with the Southeast Asian, East African and African American communities in 2014.

Work completed to date:

One Minneapolis Fund: This small grant fund administered by the NCEC supports leadership development in cultural communities and OneMinneapolisFund_Photoconnects new leaders with the City’s engagement system. Recently, many newly engaged residents who were informed by One Minneapolis Fund Grantees of the importance of City engagement ran for their neighborhood boards, 8 of which were elected as of May, 2014.

Neighborhood Priority Plans: Through the Community Participation Programs (CPP), neighborhoods are required to identify priorities and coordinate activities directly with governmental partners, including the City of Minneapolis.

City Board and Commission Diversity and Representation:

Community Connections Conference: The conference is an annual gathering of neighborhood and cultural organizations for the purposes of 1) sharing experiences and best practices; 2) Facilitating connections between organizations; and 3) supporting stronger relationships with the City of Minneapolis. Two conferences have been held to date with over +500 people attending in 2014.

Equitable Solutions:The NCR department is part of the City’s internal work team developing tools support equitable engagement by city departments. This effort is called Equitable Solutions which helps City departments consider equity implications of their budgeting, business plan, and program development and implementation.

Focus group discussions:

The Blueprint For Equitable Engagement is being developed in accordance to the City’s adopted Core Principles of Engagement. The Blueprint is being developed with an engagement strategy that utilizes both internal and community expertise. Continued development of the Blueprint will include community dialogue to inform strategy and tactics, while expanding partnerships in this area of work. The following is a list of upcoming focus groups discussions. Additional focus groups may be added after completing the following:


Upcoming Focus Groups: Focus group conversations and dialogue will be conducted in the summer of 2014 with an anticipated completion date of September, 30, 2014. Recommendations from these discussions will be considered by the department and the NCEC in the fall of 2014.

Boards and Commission recommendations: The department will be working with City Clerk’s office to further operationalize the recommended changes in the City’s appointment process during the summer of 2014.

Boards and Commissions Diversity Survey: The next survey will be completed in July, 2014. Further efforts to increase voluntary participation will be employed.

Blueprint for Equitable Engagement Steerting Committee members:


Last updated Oct 24, 2014