Today, Meet Minneapolis officially announced Ka Vang [Gah Vah] as the organization’s first-ever Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). In this role, Vang will be responsible for developing a strategic vision and implementing a plan that advances the culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, which are core to the organization’s mission and values. As part of her role, she will also be the executive-level staff liaison for the Diversity and Multicultural Action Committee of the Meet Minneapolis board and will chair the Meet Minneapolis Legacy Project.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ka Vang to our team. Her breadth of EDI experience in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, and the strong public and private community relationships she has forged in her work, helped distinguish her from the outstanding candidates interested in this new role,” said Meet Minneapolis President & CEO Melvin Tennant. “Ka’s communications background and storytelling abilities will also be valuable assets in effectively reaching our internal and external stakeholders. All of these factors will allow Ka to have an immediate and positive impact on the work of Meet Minneapolis.”
"I'm thrilled to join the Meet Minneapolis community of exceptional staff, innovative board members, and community stakeholders who believe in the mission of Meet Minneapolis,” said Ka Vang. “It is an exciting opportunity to work with others to build on the success of the Diversity and Multicultural Action Committee and Meet Minneapolis Legacy Project. I am passionate about developing targeted social justice and racial reconciliation initiatives for Meet Minneapolis that will assist in rebuilding and restoring hospitality industry workers, local businesses and the community at large."
Vang was selected for the role following a search that included local and national candidates. While she will be the first individual to hold the title of VP of EDI within the organization, Meet Minneapolis has long been committed to recruiting and retaining a staff that reflects its local community, as well as the increasingly diverse visitors Meet Minneapolis works to attract.
“Hiring Ka allows us to better organize the EDI work we have been doing as a business imperative,” added Tennant. “Based on her extensive experience, she will be able to easily adapt to the travel and tourism industry as she evaluates the EDI work we’ve been doing, determine short- and long-term goals, and develop appropriate metrics for success and internal training initiatives.”
Before joining Meet Minneapolis, Vang spent eight years as the Director of Impact & Community Engagement for Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media. Vang’s career with MPR and APM included robust efforts to implement the company's strategic community impact plan with a special focus on equity, culture and new ways to serve diverse audiences. Prior to that, she worked as the Diversity Program Director for Minnesota State, System Office. Vang also previously served as the Assistant Director for the Center for Multicultural & International Student Affairs at Hamline University, and spent several years as a Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Trainer for nonprofit and public organizations. In addition, Vang is a certified Intercultural Development Inventory facilitator and trainer.
Vang graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's in political science. She received her master's in education from Minnesota State, Mankato. She previously served on the board of Girl Scouts River Valleys, and Friends of Freedom Park. She is currently a task force member with We Are Still Here Minnesota, a nonprofit with a mission to spotlight and make visible the lives and contributions of Native American peoples and their governments in Minnesota.