| Program: || Bicultural Training Partnership, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN |
| Contact(s): || Vijit Ramchandani, Senior Consultant and Program Manager: (612) 642-2067 |
| Purpose: || To strengthen leadership across the Twin Cities' Southeast Asian communities, and develop plans to effectively address issues and opportunities for these communities |
In the 1980s the Twin Cities' Southeast Asian population increased rapidly, particularly the populations from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In December 1991, in response to this increase, leaders of the Hmong, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian communities, the St. Paul Foundation, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Metropolitan State University, and many other organizations and foundations entered into a multi-year partnership called the Bicultural Training Partnership. The partnership builds the capacity and strength of Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations, which assist many new residents to adjust and contribute to life in the United States.
Under the auspices of the Bicultural Training Partnership, a group of leaders, selected by the four cultural communities, are trained to facilitate organizational and cross-organization efforts, and to serve as bridges between their communities and in the Twin Cities larger community. The partnership has helped to educate other leaders and organizations about Hmong, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian cultures and the issues facing newer citizens. The partnership sponsors many different projects, each led by a task force of community leaders and county and nonprofit social service providers. The projects use research, mentorships, training and distribution of materials to further broad-based planning and action designed to address targeted issues and opportunities facing Southeast Asian residents, including housing, employment, youth, language and cultural issues. One of the partnership's projects, Southeast Asian Leadership Program, provides yearly training and activities for 30 community leaders that cover issues related to advocacy, and to building bridges between conventional and Southeast Asian institutions, systems, and cultures.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Over 200 current, emerging and potential leaders in the South East Asian community completed leadership training as a result of the Bicultural Training Partnership. Evaluations showed that participants increase knowledge about the broader community, and learned many new skills. In addition, capacity-building work was completed with 16 mutual assistance associations, and staff and leaders of more than 50 key mainstream organizations and institutions were trained. Community plans were also developed and are being implemented around the issues of housing, employment, and living alternatives for Southeast Asian elderly.