Powerful Perspectives: Call for Voices

January 24, 2017

When the staff first set out to start our weekly blog my first reaction was on obvious one: “What the heck am I going to write about that people would actually find interesting?” I finally came up with the idea for “Powerful Perspectives” after much discussion and deliberation with my fellow staff members and mentors. This article is an introduction to the concept of my “Powerful Perspectives” series. I will pitch the concept to you all, the community/readers, and hope you will like to participate. 


So there I was sitting at my slightly chaotic desk, a clear autumn day flowing outside of my window overlooking 7th Street NW, tasked with the idea of coming up with an engaging shtick for my blog. While brainstorming, my first inclination was to create content that would help me better serve the Diversity Council in my position as the Director of Community Engagement.  I like interactive endeavors with depth and purpose. Could I create an interactive blogging experience with the community that would help Rochester, (the state of Minnesota, and perhaps even the nation) better embrace and celebrate its diversity?


I then asked myself what I liked most about my job, and the answer to this question was an easy one: meeting people. While serving as the Director of Community Engagement I find nothing more fun and rewarding than meeting the wonderful people who are interested and engaged in the beautiful work of creating a community that embraces its diversity and utilizes inclusion.


Then the idea hit me like a wrecking ball: Powerful Perspectives.

After going to events and meetings over the past two years, the one thing that strikes me is this reality: I see the same people at every meeting, at every event, serving on every board. And even at these meetings, I really don’t get the chance to know everyone on a deeper level. 


My purpose for “Powerful Perspectives” is then threefold: 1) To get to know and hear feedback from  community members we usually do not hear from: the church elder who has lived in Rochester for over 25 years; the minority small business owner who is too busy to volunteer, attend events, or sit on boards; or the child who does not get the opportunity to have their voice heard outside of MLK day and school events.  2) To reflect on their answers and brainstorm ways we can harness their viewpoints to make our city better. 3) To celebrate diversity and inclusion by realizing purposes 1 and 2.


The idea for Powerful Perspectives is simple: to have engaging conversations with community members in which we will discuss their viewpoints on diversity and inclusion and hear their stories of what brought them to Rochester and why they stay. Each post will conclude with my reflection of how we can use their feedback to make our community better.


So… I am now officially looking for people who would be willing to be interviewed. To all who are reading this, won't you consider having your voice featured in my Powerful Perspectives series? This is a unique opportunity to serve your community at y


our own convenience. I hope the process will be fun and engaging. You will not be put on the spot in any way. We will only discuss what you are comfortable discussing. Also, you can choose to remain anonymous if you desire to. 


If you would like to be interviewed, or know someone who should be interviewed, please reach out to me at the Diversity Council by calling or sending an email to torresh@diversitycouncil.org. Let’s celebrate your story and make our world a better place.

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