Girl and parent holding hands going to first day of school
Elementary age, African American girl holds parent's or teacher's hand before school begins.  She wears a backpack and big smile as she excitedly prepares for her very first day of school.

What if all doors were open to all?

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are core guiding principles for Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) in Minneapolis and beyond. The ongoing effort to break down barriers and create opportunities for all — regardless of race, gender or ethnicity — is a labor of love for EY professionals.

There is much work to be done in the city and beyond. The median Black family in the Twin Cities area earns $38,178 a year — which is less than half of the median white family income of $84,459 a year, according to a 2020 article by NPR.¹

The desire of the local EY office community to stand up and be part of the solution was built on a foundation of inclusiveness, belonging and empathy, nurtured over the years through tangible programs, resources and support mechanisms. At EY US, this is the culture everyone is committed to cultivating, where people feel valued, understood and seen, and ultimately empowered to take action within their communities and for their clients.

Minneapolis is a city full of opportunities, but a vast number of those opportunities are not always available to everyone. EY Minneapolis supports the work of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), which operates in a geographic “Zone” of North Minneapolis that is the apex of crime, poverty and failing schools within the city. NAZ’s mission is to end generational poverty and build a culture of achievement in North Minneapolis where all low-income children of color graduate from high school and are on a path to college.

While hope isn’t a strategy, for many of our young people in the City of Minneapolis, it is a superpower.

Through its collective of over 35 partner organizations, NAZ is making a multigenerational change in the city. Students who have participated in its academic strategy programs have higher rates of proficiency growth with each year of participation.6 Their work extends beyond the classroom, with NAZ providing family enrichment coaches who help adults through education, job support and personal development.  

The bar continues to be raised on improving childhood education and opportunities, as well as creating and maintaining inclusive workplaces. These values underpin actions throughout the global EY organization and serve as a guide every day, especially through difficult times. From advocacy for the LGBT+ community to innovative Neuro‑Diverse Centers of Excellence (NCoEs), EY US continues to strive for positive change.

The trust and feeling of community connection at EY Minneapolis continue to drive an office-wide effort that promotes inclusion and accountability and activates individual passion. With a new office in the heart of the downtown business district in the iconic Dayton’s building — EY US is doubling down on its commitment to Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis office has fostered a sense of family and a culture of inclusiveness, belonging and empathy. “We’ve had strong engagement across our professional networks (employee resource groups) for many years and continue to have a progressive mindset and tangible programs, resources and support mechanisms around respecting, welcoming and embracing diversity across our office and community.⁴

Views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.

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