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Oromo Community Engagement in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood.

Blevins, Jennifer.

The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis, located adjacent to the University of Minnesota on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, has served as a settlement for new immigrants for more than two centuries, starting with the influx of families from Eastern European countries during the 1800s. More recently, significant numbers of immigrants from Africa, and to a lesser degree Asia and Latin America, have chosen this neighborhood as their new home. One of the newer immigrant groups to arrive in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is the Oromo, the largest cultural group within the Horn of Africa, centered in Ethiopia. The Oromo have increased their presence in Cedar-Riverside during a time of growing dissent and disunity in the neighborhood regarding community development prospects. In response, the West Bank Community Development Corporation (CDC) has made it a priority to unite new immigrants and longer term residents in efforts to revitalize the neighborhood. Within this context, the West Bank CDC initiated the Oromo Community Engagement project in response to a sense of disconnection with their new Oromo neighbors and colleagues. The West Bank CDC intends to ensure the interests of the Oromo are not overlooked during planning for future community development projects. This article reports on the author's work as a graduate research assistant on the Oromo Community Engagement project, which involved helping the West Bank CDC gain a better understanding of the Oromo and identify how the organization could increase engagement with Oromo residents living and working in the neighborhood.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
Sponsored by Neighborhood Planning for Community Revitalization, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
37 (4): 24-27
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 37 (4)