Access and Outreach
The Access and Outreach team provides community relations services to create access to the decision making processes for under-represented communities; removing barriers of race, cultural norms and practices, disability and language in order to foster full civic participation while ensuring that the Core Principles of Engagement guide the relationship development.
One of the largest barriers to participation can be through language. The Access & Outreach team work to remove those barriers through the City's Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan. The department has an Access & Outreach specialist that speak Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
Minneapolis pledges a new relationship with the Hmong community
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was honored by the Hmong Community during a Baci ceremony performed on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Fairview Park in North Minneapolis. The event was organized by Michael Yang, Southeast Asian Community Specialist, for the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department, in partnership with Minneapolis Hmong leaders, Houa Vang, Choua Blong Moua, Zongleng Pha, Chairman of the Hmong 18 Council and the Cleveland Neighborhood Association. The Baci ceremony was performed as a first step in the process of building greater trust between the Hmong community and the City of Minneapolis.
The “Baci” is a traditional Hmong ceremony use to welcome and honor individuals, especially those who are in leadership positions. The ceremony cultivates the spirits in the body to withstand all challenges. During the ceremony honoring Mayor Hodges, participants tied white strings around her wrists to provide her strength, courage and blessings. Flowers, fruits, candies and eggs were used to cultivate her spirits in the body.
“The Hmong community has been traditionally left out by City government, and Mayor Betsy is the first Mayor from Minneapolis to come out and listen to the Hmong community elders and leaders. I am grateful that the Mayor values and cares about a trusted relationship with the Hmong community.” Souwan Thao, Thao/Kue Family Representative to the Hmong 18 Council).
Photo: Gee Vue, a North Jr. High School Student, ties a string around Mayor Hodges wrist during a traditional Baci ceremony.
Minneapolis Language Lines
Spanish Line: (612) 673-2700
Somali Line: (612) 673-3500
Hmong Line: (612) 673-2800
American Sign Language Line: (612) 673-3220
TTY Line: (612) 673-2157
Access and Outreach Manager: Lance Knuckles, (612) 673-2919 or email Lance.Knuckles@minneapolismn.gov
The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in a different format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.
Last updated Nov 20, 2014