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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.

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

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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July 30, 2018: Closing referral disparities (resolution agreement with Office of Civil Rights)

July 18, 2018 Commissioner Lindsey of the MN Department of Human Rights Forum with Rochester Community.

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July 11, 2018: Prosperity Initiative


Minority Business Conference hosted by SBDC, Diversity Council and Prosperity Initiative

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June 22, 2018: Olmsted County, MN Community Health Improvement

Recruiting members to join Community Engagement Workgroup.

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June 19, 2018: 2018 RPS Discipline Data Update - Information

At the 6/19/2018 school board meeting, the following discipline data was presented.

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June 18, 2018: Olmsted County, MN Community Health Improvement

Volunteers are needed to help facilitate a Poverty Simulation on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
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June 15, 2018: Mayor Brede signed ICI pledge

On Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 at 11:00 am, the Journey to Growth team, the City of Rochester and citizens of Rochester will gather in the City Hall Atrium for a special Signing Ceremony, designating Rochester as the first U.S. City to join the Council of Europe’s ICI (Intercultural Cities Initiative) program.

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June 01, 2018: Rochester Area Family Y 2018 Summer Program

The YMCA has 250 free summer memberships to give to teens in need this year. 

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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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