Rural Community Inclusion News

Latino-owned businesses in Nebraska almost doubled in five years, according to report

Husband and wife business partners, Diego Leon and Jenny Lopez, rely on their memories of Colombian fruit and juice stands to recreate the vibrant and unique dishes of their homeland. These thoughts inspire their restaurant, FRUIT, in Grand Island, Nebraska.

The couple immigrated to the U.S. in 2014, and opened their business in January 2016. Diego says starting their venture was an intensive process, but a labor of love.

Staff spotlight: Carlos helps bring communities together

After migrating from Mexico to the United States in 1994, Carlos Barcenas discovered that, though the landscape may change, rural living still encompasses the same ideals.

“Rural brings a sense of agriculture, families, connection, and opportunity no matter where you’re at,” said Barcenas. “Rural America is important to me, because, throughout U.S. history, it has played a significant role in all areas of the country, and is the backbone of what the country stands for today.”

Overcoming three types of biases

When attempting to overcome bias, like anything else, knowing is half the battle. While many of us are familiar with the concept of bias, having a deeper understanding of what it is and how it manifests is often the first step in circumventing the negative ramifications. Bias can limit the potential for growth, innovation, and success on both an individual and community wide level. It can affect who we trust, what we value, and limit the scope of possibilities.

Intercultural competent leaders are needed for strong communities

A couple decades ago, a movement for tolerance wove itself across the nation. A few years ago, everything needed to be “politically correct.” In 2016, implicit bias moved to the top of political conversations.

From political affiliations to spiritual beliefs, and from generational gaps to ethnic diversity, the one thing we have in common is that our conscious and nonconscious bias play a role in the choices we make every day.

From big cities to small towns, from corporations to small businesses, biases limit the potential of growth, innovation, and success:

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