Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Northfield Racial & Ethnic Equity Collaborative

Northfield, like communities across our state and our nation, is changing in many ways. We are becoming a much more racially and ethnically diverse community. Many institutions and workplaces are making Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) a priority in their planning and in how they do business. It is one thing to say we want to be “welcoming to all,” but the actual systems change and behavioral shifts required to do so are much more complex.

The Northfield Racial & Ethnic Equity Collaborative (NREEC) began in February 2021 as a community-led effort around racial equity and inclusion. It strives to help build our shared cultural competence, understand our biases, and carry out the work of systems change to begin shifting policies, practices, resources, and power structures.

The NREEC membership, as of October 2021, includes the following institutions and organizations:

  • City of Northfield
  • Northfield Public Schools
  • Healthy Community Initiative
  • Carleton College
  • St. Olaf College
  • Northfield Hospital + Clinics
  • Rice County
  • FiftyNorth
  • Northfield Area Family YMCA
  • Community Action Center
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Northfield Area Interfaith Association
  • Northfield Shares
  • Rice County Neighbors United
  • Northfield Union of Youth
  • Three Rivers Community Action
  • Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
  • Rice County Area United Way
  • Allina Health
  • Minnesota Humanities Center

Strategic plan and priorities

The City of Northfield’s strategic plan set diversity, equity and inclusion as one of our six priorities.

A community that welcomes everyone.

Desired outcomes include:

  • Staff and volunteers reflect the community.
  • Improved access to city services for all demographics.
  • City is a community leader on diversity, equity and inclusion.

View Northfield’s strategic plan

In July 2020, we adopted a Racial Equity Action Plan. We developed this plan because:

  • It is a way to be intentional about institutional culture change.
  • It will help us to design strategies to focus improvements. Developing racial equity plans and tools with all departments will help us better include racial equity as a factor in delivery of services and budgeting.
  • Institutional racism is something ingrained into the fabric of many institutions in the United States. For the City, racial equity is about exploring our practices, service delivery and policies to help find ways to make our institution more racially equitable.
  • Having a racial equity action plan will keep this work a priority for the City as we carry out our work and create our budgets.

View our Racial Equity Action Plan (PDF)

Demographics and community profile

Minnesota Compass – Northfield Community Profile

Human Rights Commission

The City of Northfield has a Human Rights Commission whose purpose is to secure for all citizens equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services and education and full participation in the affairs of this community by assisting the state department of human rights in implementing the state human rights act and by advising the city council on long range programs to improve community relations in the city. (Code 1986, § 260:10)

Learn more about the Northfield Human Rights Commission

Interested in serving on the Human Rights Commission?

Apply to the Northfield Human Commission

If you suspect of a discrimination case, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights:

Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Discrimination Helpline 1-833-454-0148

City ID Card

The City of Northfield established an identification card issued by the City at the Northfield Public Library to provide to the community an alternative identification to access city programs, services, and activities, and provide a means to substantiate a person's identity.

Learn more about City ID

Organizations and groups in the community

Northfield has a variety of community organizations and groups working on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Growing Up Healthy

TORCH (Tackling Obstacles & Raising College Hopes)

Link Services (Northfield Public Library)

Neighbors United of Northfield, MN

Carleton College – Community, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

St. Olaf College – Equity and Inclusion


October is Global Diversity Month. Northfield staff shared their family stories to celebrate.