We advocate for and act to increase equity and social justice through programs, services, community organizing and collaborative leadership that create equitable opportunities for African refugees and immigrant children, youth and families to thrive.
As Central Minnesota’s largest BIPOC agency, our goal is to help develop the necessary support and tools for our families to become their own advocates and agents of change.
Our Services are informed by and with the voice of the community in mind. We will be flexible with our delivery and responsive to our changing community demands and issues.
We strive to ensure that our systems, structures; and those of partnerships actively support the capacity of communities to be their own advocates.
We draw upon our individual, and collective competencies to cope with, adapt to, and develop from the demands, challenges and changes encountered in our past and current lives.
Our commitment to systemic and sustainable change toward creating equitable opportunities is ingrained in our mission and demonstrated throughout our priority areas of community health, equitable education, and economic development. We constantly work to strengthen our staff and organizational capacity to address social inequities.This includes ensuring our internal work is rooted in the principles of social justice and that our organizational culture supports staff and volunteers in being innovative, creative, passionate, and accountable.
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With US, by US, for US
We envision a more just and equitable society in which children, youth, and families live in sustained, supportive communities, that reinforce the cultural wealth and lived experience of the refugee and immigrant family. Our expertise lies in our ability to provide services that empower the African refugee and immigrant communities to enrich and their their lives, through our work in equitable education, community health and economic development.
The goal of our economic development is to improve the economic self-sufficiency of the African refugee and immigrant communities with high unemployment and poverty rates thorough stable housing, sustainable employment, and small enterprise development. From financial literacy training to employment basics and job interviewing strategies, our economic development programs provide refugees and migrants with the tools needed to become financially independent. We work with key community stakeholder groups to foster welcoming environments for refugees in the workplace while offering technical assistance for minority-owned small businesses.
We understand that the academic and social excellence of children is directly tied to the economic prosperity of their community. We view education as the greatest equalizer and a principal tenet of our communities’ pursuit of the American dream. From creating parent-child interactions in early years, to working with preschoolers and school-aged children, CAIRO continually works with partners in the co-creation of safe, positive and engaged school climate and culture for an equitable outcome for all students.
Improving the health of our communities is a fundamental commitment rooted deeply in our efforts to build a vibrant community. We continually strive to empower our children, youth and families to attain their full health potential. From focusing on prevention, navigation and coordination to advocating for culturally responsive holistic care and mental health education, CAIRO will provide culturally relevant community health work (CHW), community organizing, leadership development, and expand the capacities for our disproportionately affected groups (individuals with low income, lower education and poor mental health) to build health resilience.
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