Location

CSU 254

Start Date

21-4-2014 3:15 PM

End Date

21-4-2014 4:15 PM

Student's Major

Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Student's College

Education

Mentor's Name

Elizabeth Sandell

Mentor's Email Address

elizabeth.sandell@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Mentor's College

Education

Description

The purpose of this study was to understand how leaders responded to the community’s increasing diversity. According to previous research, “adults in the state demonstrate both marked support for programs and policies supporting immigrants and refugees, and considerable xenophobia” (Fennelly, 2006). Of all the states receiving new immigrants, Minnesota has the greatest diversity (Somali, Hmong, Sudanese, Hispanic, Russian, South Asian) (Brower, 2013). Fennelly & Federico (2008) also found that rural residents hold more negative attitudes toward immigrants. Intergroup contact theory and acculturation studies address these issues. The study responded to these research questions: How do leaders conceptualize the ideas of diversity and welcoming? What are the leaders’ goals for creating a community that welcomes non-European Americans? How do the leaders operationalize their concepts of diversity and welcoming? Acculturation, intergroup contact theory, and the Minnesota context form the foundation of the research project. Ten to twelve community leaders (key actors) were purposefully selected from the education, non-profit, business, and government sectors (such as city administrators, school principals). Interviews took place to elicit information about what leaders think diversity and welcoming mean; their goals for a welcoming community; and how leaders implement those goals. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using software to identify themes and trends. Outcomes of the study may be used by leaders to identify the community’s strengths and weaknesses. The analysis could form the basis for additional educational or cultural programming.

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Apr 21st, 3:15 PM Apr 21st, 4:15 PM

What Constitutes a Welcoming Community? Mankato Leaders Go Beyond the 'Welcome Wagon' for New Immigrants

CSU 254

The purpose of this study was to understand how leaders responded to the community’s increasing diversity. According to previous research, “adults in the state demonstrate both marked support for programs and policies supporting immigrants and refugees, and considerable xenophobia” (Fennelly, 2006). Of all the states receiving new immigrants, Minnesota has the greatest diversity (Somali, Hmong, Sudanese, Hispanic, Russian, South Asian) (Brower, 2013). Fennelly & Federico (2008) also found that rural residents hold more negative attitudes toward immigrants. Intergroup contact theory and acculturation studies address these issues. The study responded to these research questions: How do leaders conceptualize the ideas of diversity and welcoming? What are the leaders’ goals for creating a community that welcomes non-European Americans? How do the leaders operationalize their concepts of diversity and welcoming? Acculturation, intergroup contact theory, and the Minnesota context form the foundation of the research project. Ten to twelve community leaders (key actors) were purposefully selected from the education, non-profit, business, and government sectors (such as city administrators, school principals). Interviews took place to elicit information about what leaders think diversity and welcoming mean; their goals for a welcoming community; and how leaders implement those goals. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using software to identify themes and trends. Outcomes of the study may be used by leaders to identify the community’s strengths and weaknesses. The analysis could form the basis for additional educational or cultural programming.

Recommended Citation

Lieske, Sarah; Sadie Leidall; and Philip Munkvold. "What Constitutes a Welcoming Community? Mankato Leaders Go Beyond the 'Welcome Wagon' for New Immigrants." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 21, 2014.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2014/oral_session_14/2

 

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