A message from Mississippi Market’s General Manager, Gail Graham.

Over the last seven days, we ran a Celebrate Community blog series highlighting a cultural recipe and culinary tradition from each of the seven countries that was recently affected by the (now temporarily suspended) federal travel ban, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

At the co-op, everyone is welcome. Our staff, shoppers, and producers are from countries all over the world, including some of those affected by this ban. We work to create an inclusive environment that celebrates the diversity of our community. After all, Minnesota, with an increasingly diverse population, is a state of immigrants.

The Dakota-Lakota and Ojibwe peoples were the first to settle in what is now Minnesota, with Europeans following in the late 1600s. Waves of immigrants from many countries came to our state to escape from persecution or find better opportunities. In the 1890s, only 15% of the US was foreign born, yet 40% of Minnesotans were foreign born.

Since then, Minnesota has remained welcoming to immigrants. Consider this:

  • In the 1980s, Minnesota saw a large influx of refugees from South East Asia. Today, we have the second largest Hmong population in the United States!
  • In the 1990s, we began to see a large influx of Somali immigrants. Today, the Twin Cities is considered the Somali capital of the United States! 
  • A 2006 study noted that while only 8% of immigrants nationally are refugees, 25-50% of Minnesota’s immigrants are refugees fleeing from conflict, human rights violations, and political or religious persecution.
  • Minnesota’s foreign born population has tripled since 1990. Today, nearly 1 in 6 Minnesotan children have at least one immigrant parent.

Immigrants have helped build our country. They are a vital contributor to our economic, cultural, and civic life.

Join us as we celebrate diversity and work to build an inclusive society that respects and honors the contributions of all.