Minnesota's growing Latino population has been around long enough to put down roots, grow businesses and go through school, sometimes for generations.
But have white people and Latinos as communities made the connections that let them do more than live side by side in many towns around the state?
That's a question Ground Level decided to explore as University of Minnesota Extension researchers launched a project to identify just how integrated leadership in some Minnesota towns has become. The picture we found is mixed, but a number of Minnesotans have forged ways to make valuable connections across ethnic lines.
University of Minnesota Extension research is delving into how leadership shifts in towns with substantial Latino populations.
We asked members of MPR News' Public Insight Network to tell us about places Latinos and whites make connections. Here's what we heard, from the YMCA to church to the bakery.
The 17 largest outstate Latino communities
St. James resident Irma Marquez this month became one of the earliest Latinos in the nation to received deferred status allowing her legally to stay in the United States for two years and to find work. Read her story here ▶
Kerry and Juan Cuate opened a Mexican bakery, Panaderia Mi Tierra, in downtown Worthington, Minn. The bakery now caters to the larger community, bringing the diverse population together.
Responses from the PIN How immigration law change might affect your community
These 17 cities fall into one or both of two Top 10 lists in outstate Minnesota: greatest Latino population in 2010 and greatest Latino population in 2010 as a percentage of total population.
Click the city names or the dates below to explore
La creciente población latina de Minnesota, la mayoría mexicanos aunque incluye cada vez más personas de Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Ecuador y otros lugares, ha estado aquí por suficiente tiempo como para echar raíces, hacer crecer negocios y asistir a las escuelas, a veces por generaciones. Pero ¿han hecho las comunidades anglo y latinas las conexiones necesarias que les permita hacer algo más que no sea sólo vivir paralelamente en muchas ciudades en el estado?
Esa es una pregunta que Ground Level decidió explorar como parte del proyecto que los investigadores de la University of Minnesota Extension lanzaron para identificar cuánto se ha integrado el liderazgo de algunas ciudades de minesotenses. El cuadro que encontramos es mixto, pero un número de minesotenses han forjado el camino para hacer valiosas conexiones a través de las fronteras étnicas.
We asked members of our Public Insight Network how they think their communities might change if the nation's immigration laws are altered. Read a summary of what they told here or see all the responses below.
We identify topics that are significant and complex and that play out uniquely at the local level. We want to explore those issues in which people taking action in their communities make a difference and can serve as guides for others.
Ground Level launched in early 2010 and shines a light on a variety of topics, from the growing complexity of Minnesota's local food system to cities preparing for new fiscal realities, from exurban growth in Baldwin Township to the quest to expand broadband access across the state.
We experiment with coverage on a variety of platforms. This includes text, audio and video online, of course - the Ground Level blog, a series of topics pages and social networking, for example. It also includes on-air coverage, public forums both virtual and real-world and collaboration with community-based media.
Our audience consists of Minnesotans interested in community life, particularly those who are taking an active part in it or helping others do the same.
Ground Level is very much an experiment -- in finding ways to learn about and tell stories, in working with other organizations, in walking up to the line between providing insight and advocating specific actions. Our goal is to inform and give people the ability and incentive to engage with their community. We invite your feedback and your ideas, via the blog, twitter at @MPRGroundLevel, phone calls, emails, whatever. Join us.
About the team:
Dave Peters directs MPR's project on community journalism, looking for ways Minnesota residents are making their towns, cities and neighborhoods better places to live. He joined MPR News in 2009 after more than 30 years as a newspaper and online reporter and editor. Contact Dave
Jennifer Vogel reports and writes for the Ground Level project, focusing on complex topics that play out in Minnesota's communities and that involve residents getting engaged with the challenges of the day. She is a longtime Twin Cities writer and editor who joined MPR News and Ground Level in January 2010. Contact Jennifer