By Jilla Nadimi, from University of Minnesota working with the Business Licensing for Regulatory Services
My name is Jilla Nadimi, and I am an Urban Scholar working in Business Licensing for Regulatory Services at City Hall. This September, I will be starting my final semester at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where I am pursuing a double major in French and Global Studies with a concentration on immigration. After spending the first five months of the year studying French language and culture in Paris, I was excited to begin working for the city of Minneapolis. Being abroad helped me realize that I did not understand my own home as intimately as I strove to understand Paris, a culture utterly foreign to me. I was embarrassed that I live and worked entirely within the bubble of the university. For these reasons, I applied for the City of Minneapolis Urban Scholars Program. What could be a better way to interact with my community than by working in the public sector on projects that affect me, my friends, and my family?
Like its residents, the City of Minneapolis public sector is composed of persons with diverse backgrounds. Our local government is trying to mirror its community in the workplace as well. As a new City employee, I had to participate in the Diversity in the Workplace Workshop. In regards to diverse creeds, religion, age, gender, sexuality, and color the City of Minneapolis makes it clear in this workshop that it does not allow discrimination of its employees or its citizens. Employees were placed as various tables and assigned various topics to discuss in order to get to know each other on a personal level. Working in an office with the same people day in and out, we become accustomed to specific circles but this exercise allowed us to meet public employees in different sectors across the city. We were shown a video focused on how diversity augments creativity and efficiency in the workplace. We discussed how tolerance and understanding are vital to making a city successful on both a local and an international scale. I left the workshop in a peaceful frame of mind, knowing that even though as citizens of Minneapolis, we have our differences, we share at least one commonality: an intense passion to keep making Minneapolis a safe and valuable home for all of us.