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Our Purpose

Growing equitable communities rooted in compassion where all facets of human identity are understood and respected, and where every individual acts conscientiously and with courage.

What does an equitable community look like?


Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of well-being for all individuals, regardless of personal or social determinants of health.


Civic equity is the realization of a society where all individuals receive equitable access to resources, protections, and opportunities.


Educational equity exists when all individuals are fully prepared for the roles of their choice, regardless of personal or social circumstances.

Our Story

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Diversity Council began in 1989 as Building Equality Together (BET) when the leadership of Rochester Public Schools recognized the need to combat racism and discrimination in our schools. School district staff worked with community leaders to form an independent nonprofit organization to meet this need.

Diversity Council Today 

So much has transpired in our society over the 35 years since this organization formed – a deepening in our collective understanding of human difference, a continued diversification of the region’s population, the globalization of communication and connectivity – and yet our purpose remains fundamentally unchanged. Diversity Council exists to compel both equitable access and equitable outcomes for all people, regardless of any facet of identity.
The work of the Council has focused historically on increasing awareness in predominantly white spaces of the impact of bias, prejudice, and discrimination. In recent years the organization has begun a shift toward pairing that awareness with actions led by and benefiting groups of people most deeply impacted by social and systemic inequities. That focus will continue and expand.
Diversity Council staff traverses numerous complex spaces in its work and actively seeks to integrate as broad an array of viewpoints, experiences, and wisdom as possible. This is critical if we are to effectively navigate persistent disparities and realize deep and lasting equity. It is not possible to address inequities by perpetuating the processes and patterns that created them. We must change who participates in defining issues of equity and in crafting solutions that lead to fundamental improvements. As part of this commitment, Diversity Council is:
     1. Fostering the growth of Community Mobilization Resource Coalition, a group of individuals and grassroots organizations connected to and serving minority populations in the region. The Coalition has done great work on so many fronts, by example, developing culturally responsive communications engaging thousands throughout the pandemic. Diversity Council with the Coalition to develop the resources and structures required for even greater success and autonomy.
     2. Participating in the development and implementation of Co-Design, a process for changing how programs, policies, and spaces are developed that centers lived experience, incorporating and valuing community voices in the design process from concept through implementation. Diversity Council is leading or active in co-design initiatives with Olmsted County, the City of Rochester, and champions the work of other entities engaged in co-design processes.

EEO Policy
Diversity Council EEO policies prohibit all forms of discrimination or harassment against applicants, employees, vendors, contractors, or volunteers on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, disability, sex, age, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, status with regard to public assistance, or any other reason prohibited by law. 

Support Us and Community Today!

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