Mankato Area Foundation Announces Launch of Greater Mankato Inclusivity Study with 11 Local Partners

    September 28th, 2022

    MANKATO, MN  Mankato Area Foundation (MAF), along with 11 partners from our public, private and nonprofit sectors, is proud to announce they are launching one of the largest community-led, mixed-method inclusivity studies in America.

    The Greater Mankato Inclusivity Study (GMIS) will gauge the current status of inclusivity for students, individuals who work in, and residents of the Greater Mankato area (Blue Earth and Nicollet counties). The study is publicly and privately funded and is being conducted by a national firm, Intercultural Competence Edge, Inc.

    “If you live and/or work in the Greater Mankato area, your voice is very important to us,” said Nancy Zallek, President and CEO of the Mankato Area Foundation. “We believe this study will be an important tool for the Foundation and for our communities as we address equitable access to opportunities and resources in the region.”

    In addition to MAF, the partners supporting this study include Mayo Clinic Health System, Greater Mankato Growth, City of Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Nicollet County, City of North Mankato, YWCA Mankato, Greater Mankato Diversity Council, South Central College, and Mankato Area Public Schools-ISD 77.

    Laura Bowman, Director of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Mayo Clinic Health System, says, “Having such a broad group of partners gives us the ability to reach thousands of our community members.  This will provide us with many helpful perspectives regarding inclusivity for everyone.”

    The process of collecting residents’ perspectives is already underway through personal interviews and focus groups with local community members.  The next phase of public input will include the release of the GMIS survey.  The partners involved in the study plan to use this survey to hear community members’ perceptions and experience regarding living and working in Greater Mankato. Topics include housing, healthcare, education, and economic well-being.

    While the final study report will not make suggestions, the findings will help our community identify areas of improvement for all ages, races, abilities, and genders.

    “Information gathered from this study will be utilized as a resource for better understanding ways in which Greater Mankato can continue to build a welcoming region for businesses, members of the workforce, community members, and visitors. Gaining this understanding will be instrumental as we plan for future strategic positioning and further the economic prosperity of this region,” said Jessie Beyer, President and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth.

    In order to include as many community members as possible, the survey will be disbursed through a variety of businesses and community organizations and will also be provided in multiple languages. The survey will be open from September 22 through November 20, with intentional efforts being made to ensure responses from a diverse pool of respondents are collected. The report summary is anticipated to be released in the first quarter of 2023.

    The survey is open to anyone who lives, works, or commutes to the Greater Mankato area.  To learn more or to take the survey, please visit: