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Beam Project Type: Programming Project in Archive Phase

The Spark! workshops are a series of 13 lessons that build respect for human difference among K-12 students. Spark! is a partnership between the school district and the community. In our innovative model, trained community members representing the diversity of our community present workshops for each grade level at every school once a year. As students progress through their education, they begin with basic concepts such as 'same & different' and move to challenging discussions of discrimination and respect in areas such as disability, race, body size, social class, gender and sexual orientation, and religion.

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Lead Organization: Diversity Council

Confirmed Collaborators: Rochester Public Schools

Potential Collaborators:

Detailed Description



Level 1: Children & Youth ; Diversity and Inclusion ; Education

Level 2:


Community Health:


Gain knowledge

  • Understand and value human differences and similarities.

  • Understand the unfairness of discrimination and the harm it causes.


Develop empathy

  • Learn to accept others who are perceived as different.

  • Gain ability to interact respectfully with ALL people.

Develop critical thinking skills

  • Understand own biases as well as those of others.

  • Identify and challenge common fallacies.


Improve self-esteem

  • Build positive regard for self and group identity.

Indicators (What are some of the signs that progress is being made?)

Spark!/Spark research-based anti-bias student and whole family trainings and workshops. DC
will a)reach 15,000 grades K through 8 students; b)reach 50 - 75 families with whole family
curriculum and resources; c)reach 400 grades 8 through 12 students with curriculum and
interactive skill building forums.


Key Activities




Status Reports
Related PlanScape Status on: Children & Youth, Diversity and Inclusion, Education

February 17, 2019: Education, Health and Recreation Space (DMC UMR/Rec sub-district) 2019 DMCC

The DMC EDA, City of Rochester and UMR will begin discussions about future sub-district development. 

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February 02, 2019: History Center to present Traveling While Black

The “Traveling While Black” exhibit being developed by the History Center of Olmsted County will chronicle the challenges faced by black motorists prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

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January 28, 2019: Race Exhibit Returns to Rochester

Updates from Tony Williams, Science Museum of Minnesota

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December 19, 2018: CHNA Meeting and News

December 13, 2018 CHNA meeting minutes. 

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November 17, 2018: Race Exhibit 2018

Reviving 2009 Race Exhibit in a condensed version.

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November 17, 2018: Kiwanis Club of Rochester 4Q 2018 Community Services

These are some of the volunteering activities that we participated in.

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November 12, 2018: Diversity Council newsmaker

A sample of Diversity Council community engagement activities.

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October 16, 2018: Cradle to Career publishes community report

Cradle to Career published Community Report and recruiting Collaborative Action Network (CAN) conveners for Kindergarten Readiness and On-Time Graduation.

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September 16, 2018: Agreement with Minnesota Department of Human RIghts

RPS, ISD 535, entered into collaboration agreement with MDHR.

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Last modified by allnode on 2017/09/13
Created by kalun on 2015/07/21

Site Information
  • For the commercial sector, we tend to register startup activities (new companies and new commercial projects) that bring diversification and high-impact opportunities to the area.
  • For the non-profit sector, we wish to shine light on all the organizations and services that otherwise labor under relative obscurity.
  • Our hope is that will encourage cross-sector collaborations and creative solutions.

While there are a number of registries in the community,'s  distinct value is to pilot a database with a data structure and categorizations that answer the questions such as: What organizations or projects/programs in our community that have purported relevance with some of the over-arching focuses put forward by initiatives such as DMC, J2G and Health Improvements?

This database could be used as one of the ways to explore the capacities of the community. If you are someone on an exploratory journey to learn about the greater Rochester community. could be an interesting first step.

The following defines the various project phases:
  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
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