Network Innovation Spotlight / June 24, 2021

Global Ties KC Series Celebrates Local Cultural Diversity

By Erin Zimmerman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Global Ties KC

Early in the pandemic, Global Ties KC realized we needed a way to continue to engage our community. We had already implemented a weekly email series highlighting news stories from each continent, but we wanted to similarly center Kansas City’s communities. So, we came up with DiverseKC: A Year of Virtual International Exploration.

The Greater Kansas City area is a rich cultural tapestry with a wide array of minority communities that play a key role in making the region grow and prosper. To shine a light on these vibrant communities, Global Ties KC implemented a nine-month initiative highlighting one country each week across our social channels, emails, and live virtual Global Spokes conversations. A new profile was released each Monday, focusing on each country’s ties to Kansas City (including nonprofits, businesses, restaurants and experiential learning options), as well as a brief Cultural 101 with ways to connect with that culture locally.

Global Ties KC’s goal was to introduce our followers to the robust diversity of our city while keeping people connected through one of the most isolating experiences of our lives. We are in the business of human connection and didn’t want to watch that slip away in quarantine. Through comments on our social channels, virtual conversations over Zoom, and numerous email responses and incoming phone calls, our Global Ties KC community let us know how connected they felt, and how needed an initiative of this scale was.

Thinking about implementing a similar initiative in your region? Global Ties KC recommends the following to make it as impactful as possible:

  • Invite individuals and organizations with ties to the countries you are highlighting to contribute. We worked closely with our Ethnic Enrichment Commission, and made sure to thank them personally and publicly every step of the way. You are not alone, and collaboration is key for simplicity and accuracy!
  • Don’t push to post something about the highlighted country every single day of the week on social media. Two to four posts per week on each country is perfect! When it comes to this type of ongoing initiative, remember: quality over quantity.
  • Have a place for all of this information to go as it’s released. For the time being, Global Ties KC has an interactive story map that is included in our linktree that serves as an archive for continual discovery of these global connections.

And, though we currently have an interactive map, this nine-month initiative is just the first iteration of DiverseKC. We are excited to expand into a second iteration—complete with a website that will serve as a living resource for years to come. Stay tuned for updates from Global Ties KC through our social channels!