In 2003, a group of dedicated, passionate people came together with a common goal: to make Alexandria and the surrounding communities an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds to live and work. This group of volunteers included community members, personnel from the local college, local businesses, non-profits and schools who formed the Diversity Resource Action Alliance (DRAA) with the goal of strengthening the community of Alexandria through an appreciation and understanding of diversity and cultural differences.
The first community based-event was held in 2003 with a community conversation: Recognizing and Appreciating Differences: Increasing our Cultural Competence. This event was well attended by the Alexandria community as well as local city and county officials. The city of Alexandria created a formal Cultural Inclusive Committee as a result of this event, which still exists today.
In 2012, DRAA changed its name to the Inclusion Network (IN). It is the Inclusion Network’s belief that Alexandria has an ethical, economic and legal responsibility to become an inclusive community. The Inclusion Network views the road to an inclusive community as a natural and healthy path of progress. The Inclusion Network hosts monthly meetings, year-round events and collaborates with local businesses and organizations. The monthly meetings are open to the public and present a key note speaker who discusses topics that encourage inclusion. The year-round events range from light hearted theatrical events to in depth training sessions. The collaborative efforts between IN and local organizations help to contribute to the vitality of central Minnesota.
As the Inclusion Network continues to grow in size and focus, we will continue to offer educational opportunities to the general public, community organizations and businesses. Inclusion is about dignity and respect - that which we all desire. The Inclusion Network is committed to working with people of all backgrounds in bridging differences and highlighting the importance of human appreciation, empathy, optimism and understanding.
The Inclusion Network is an affiliation of organizations and individuals that provides access to learning opportunities, dialogues, and experiences which support actions towards equality and justice to strengthen our communities.
We will have an impact on society to create and foster welcoming and inclusive communities.
We value diversity. Diversity includes all human differences. Valuing diverse people strengthens our workplaces, organizations, governments and communities, and enriches our personal lives.