An education on health equity and transit

By Jocelyn LeungCommunity Engagement Program Associate, Nexus Community Partners

I joined AmeriCorps VISTA during a real turning point in my life. I had been in 3 graduate programs for the past 6 years. One of them I had the foresight to leave when I knew it wasn’t right; another I stayed for too long.  Making the transition from a perpetual student to a member of the workforce was hard, and my confidence was low after months of unsuccessful job-searching. I’m very grateful to now be serving at Nexus Community Partners as the Community Engagement Program Associate through VISTA.

The goal of ‘making poverty history’ can be daunting and abstract, but the work I share with community based organizations in making sure that community members have a say in how the light rail can help them lead healthier and better lives is very real and moving. These voices come from communities of color, immigrants and refugees, migrants, people living with disabilities, low-income communities, and other transit dependent populations. It’s our responsibility to make sure their voices change policies and light rail development throughout a long-term public works project. 

Three reasons HAFA is awesome

By Winnie ZwickCommunications SpecialistHmong American Farmers Association

What have I learned in my first 3 months as an MCN VISTA? 

Many of the trainings, workshops and events I’ve been able to attend for free through MCN have helped me see why the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) is where it’s at. Here’s why:

1.    Community engagement is in HAFA’s DNA

Reflections on our first lunch and learn

By Wayne Lee, Inclusion and Engagement Resource Specialist, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Our VISTA cohort is predicated on the recognition that numerous nonprofits led by and serving communities of color face particular challenges in being able to more effectively realize their missions. In tandem with that recognition is the understanding that the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has great access to various resources that promote, connect, and strengthen nonprofits, but that these resources have historically not been accessed by organizations of color. Consequently, our cohort is placed at various capacity-building nonprofits in hopes of meeting the needs of these organizations and increasing their access to the aforementioned resources.