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SMSU to Host "It Begins With Us" Conference

Published Monday, January 29, 2024

It Begins With Us
It Begins With Us

Southwest Minnesota State University will host “It Begins With Us: Experience the Stories of Your Community” (formerly known as “Cultures on the Prairie”) a two-day in-person conference focused on sharing stories and experiences of community members to engage in meaningful conversations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The conference will be held on Monday, Feb. 12 and Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the Conference Center Upper Level.

The Day One schedule on Monday, February 12 will feature an interactive and immersive poverty simulation from 1:00-5:00 p.m., facilitated by United Community Action Partnership. The Day Two schedule on Tuesday, February 13 will run from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. with discussions on topics including poverty, Native American Boarding schools, and diversity in the community. 

The registration fee to attend is $35 for one day or $60 for the full conference on both days. The cost includes lunch on Tuesday only.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Southwest Initiative Foundation, SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, SMSU Access Opportunity Success, Southwest Adult Basic Education, the City of Marshall, the Southwest Private Industry Council, and Minnesota Lands & Homes Real Estate.

Register by visiting the Southwest Initiative Foundation website: For more information, please contact the Michele Knife Sterner in the SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion at

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