MinnPost is excited to announce the launch today of our New Americans beat, featuring weekly coverage of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities.
The decision to launch a beat dedicated to the topic was born of a simple set of facts: Over the last 25 years, the number of Minnesotans born outside the United States has tripled, even as it doubled for the country as a whole. These days, immigrants in Minnesota play a major role in the state’s culture, its economy and, increasingly, its politics.
Yet these communities seldom receive the kind of coverage that reflects that status. Our goal with the New Americans beat is to provide consistent, thoughtful, ongoing reporting that reflects the realities of the immigrant experience in the state and to examine the issues critical to these communities, from education to government to their relationship with other minority groups in Minnesota.
To kick off that coverage, our story today offers a demographic snapshot of Minnesota. This data-driven piece illustrates just how much the state has changed over the last three decades, while also providing a fitting starting point for our ongoing coverage.
MinnPost was able to launch this beat due to the support of more than 250 individual donors, who together pledged more than $30,000 to the effort. Those who would like to join them can make a charitable contribution in any amount via our New Americans campaign page.
Going forward, New Americans stories will be written by a variety of contributors, but the beat will be spearheaded by two writers deeply committed to this issue: Lorena Armstrong-Duarte and Ibrahim Hirsi.
Armstrong-Duarte is a longtime journalist and former editor of La Prensa de Minnesota, as well as an award-winning poet, spoken word performer and playwright. Hirsi has been a MinnPost contributor since 2013, covering immigrant and social issues, and has also written for Newsday, Politico, and several other Minnesota-based publications.