Olmsted County's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative.
Envisioning a workplace and community where everyone is treated equitably.
One Olmsted is Olmsted County's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative. It originated from a resolution passed by the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners in 2017 formalizing Olmsted County's commitment to health, social, and racial equity as guiding priorities and values.
Our mission with One Olmsted is to eliminate disparities and create equitable outcomes for everyone in Olmsted County through our commitment to diversity and inclusion and development of strong community partnerships.
One Olmsted seeks to:
- Ensure an inclusive workforce environment to retain staff and support staff learning and development through awareness and education opportunities.
- Ensure Olmsted County services to residents are equitable, that barriers are reduced, and are provided in an environment that promotes inclusiveness.
- Build teams that represent community demographics.
Highlights of One Olmsted progress to date
- Alliance groups are available for Olmsted County employees. These are voluntary, employee-led groups aimed at fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace. The alliance groups are: Mental health, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color), LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersexual, asexual), a diverse abilities group, and an Allies group (employees who would like to be good allies to historically marginalized groups of people).
- Each county department has identified annual DEI goals and senior leadership teams have participated in DEI strategic planning sessions.
- We offered “Coming to the table circles for healing and education” in partnership with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Public Library. These were spaces for the community to come together to understand our history, recognize continued impacts, and move toward healing.
- Listening to community members at various DEI-related community gatherings and through participation in the Diversity Council’s Community Mobilization Resource Coalition (CMRC).
One Olmsted participates in a number of DEI events in the community:
- Welcoming Week
- Rochester Pride
- Citizenship Celebration
- Rochester Welcomes YOU
- MLK Annual Celebration
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Southeast Minnesota events
Joint study on race and racism as a public health issue
In August 2020, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution directing two of its volunteer advisory groups – the Olmsted County Public Health Services Advisory Board (PHSAB) and the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission (HRC) – to jointly study and investigate racial disparities that result from systemic racism as a public health issue. In October 2022, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners accepted the final recommendations in the joint study. Work has begun to develop an implementation plan based on the recommendations. Learn more.