• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: It Would Be Un-Minnesotan (and Un-Mayo) Not to Join This Cause

February 1, 2016

Welcome to Minnesota road sign

If you're reading this, you're probably Minnesotan. Or know a Minnesotan. Or at least know where Minnesota is on a map. Or, maybe you’re not from around here and just have a vague notion that Mayo Clinic has its roots in the North Star State. (It's OK, we Minnesotans have thick, if frost-bitten, skin.) The Land of 10,000 Lakes may be a bit frigid this time of year, but we'll go well out of our way (and uphill both ways) to show we're not cold-hearted.

This article appears In the Loop

We could go on about the kind of folks Minnesotans are, but there's a full-page ad in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper that does it better. The ad, signed by John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO, and many other business and civic leaders from throughout the state, is all about Minnesota values, tolerance and understanding, and supporting diversity to create a vibrant community. You might say it's about being Minnesotan.

The ad notes that "Up North," we're perhaps a "soft-spoken" bunch, but we're not inclined to "be silent or still in the face of bigotry." And despite the fact that we may be fond of "snow days," our values don't take days off.

You can read the full text of the ad below:

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a Minnesotan
Pop, “Up North” and snow days
all mean something to you.
So do the values we’re raised with:
everyday, sleeve-worn courage, goodness and kindness.
Though we may be a soft-spoken bunch,
we know better than to be silent or still in the face of
bigotry shown to Muslims. Our fellow Minnesotans.
Every intolerant social post,
every prejudiced comment aimed at Muslims
needs a response. Your response.
We must lead people to a place of
tolerance and understanding.
We must come together as
a diverse and vibrant community.
Our values don’t take days off and neither should we.
If you’re Minnesotan, you know this to be true.
We know better. We can’t be tricked into betraying our values.
It’d be so very, very un-Minnesotan of us.

"I was pleased to join other Minnesota civic and industry leaders in this important statement about the values we stand for here in Minnesota," says Dr. Noseworthy. "Mayo Clinic, from its very beginnings, has been a strong voice for tolerance, understanding and inclusion, both in our work with patients and in the community. We want every Minnesotan, as well as those who visit us, to know that they are welcome here and have our support."

Sharonne Hayes, M.D., director of Mayo's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, enthusiastically supports the effort. "Dr. Noseworthy’s message is a great affirmation of Mayo Clinic’s values, which really are the shared values of all of Minnesota: respect, compassion, integrity, healing, teamwork," she says. "It is wonderful to see these crystalized by the CEO of Mayo Clinic and leaders from around Minnesota – people who have tremendous power to set an example for employees, colleagues, neighbors, friends and family."

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