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250 S. 4th. Street, Room 510
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Multicultural Storytelling Toolkit


Multicultural Storytelling:
A New Process for Community Engagement


The quality of engagement between institutions and the communities they serve largely determines whether policies and programs reflect the interests of all groups. In 2006, the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) developed a community advisory committee reflective of the predominant racial/ethnic groups residing in Minneapolis. This Urban Health Agenda Community Advisory Committee was charged with helping the department develop a new community engagement model.

To this end, the department embarked upon a partnership to pilot a multicultural health storytelling project.


The Multicultural Storytelling Toolkit grew out of a series of ethnic-specific inter-generational storytelling events held in Minneapolis. Ten storytelling events were held and videotaped with members of the: African American, American Indian, Caucasian, Hmong, Latino, Somali, and Vietnamese communities. Gender-specific events were held in the African American and Somali communities. The focus of the events was to tell us about a time when your family/community was healthy.

The department and advisory committee completed a short videosynopsis of the events which also emphasizes the power of stories and listening in order to begin taking action. While 6 dominant themes are highlighted throughout the video, the uniqueness of each different cultural group is also illustrated. Since many stories were shared in the native languages of the respective communities, English subtitles are provided within the video.


Why Use This Toolkit?
Benefits of Using Multicultural Storytelling

What Distinguishes Our Storytelling Process?

Multicultural Storytelling Toolkit

Minneapolis Health Department and their community partners have developed this teaching resource for educators, current and future health and human service users in non-profit organizations, state, county and local government departments and private organizations involved in the health and human services fields.

The toolkit includes the following:



Last updated Dec 23, 2014