Being that this class entirely pertains to intercultural communication, I feel that the neighborhood of Seward portrays the fundamentals of this class greatly. This particular neighborhood has an array of ethnicities that form together to create an incredibly tight-knit community. Compared to many neighborhoods that are predominantly white, over 50% of Seward is made up of ethnicities other than white (npr.org). The amazing thing about Seward is that those ethnicities are not frowned upon or discriminated against, but instead celebrated. Neighbors don’t clump into childish high school cliques like the suburb I’m from does; instead they ban together to create a wonderful place for many to live.
Part to take blame for the smooth operations and relationships of Seward is The Seward Neighborhood Group. This group was formed 1960 with the missions to create a unique place for people to live, work and play (sng.org). I feel after the amount of research I did on this neighborhood that The Seward Neighborhood Group did an incredible job implementing that mission and is still holding strong to it. One particular thing that I find very interesting is the Seward neighborhood block clubs. These clubs were created for each block by The Seward Neighborhood Group to help neighbors get to know one-another and establish relationships to ensure proper communication for anything from an unexpected crisis to fun community events. There are over 50 block clubs that make up the Seward neighborhood (sng.org).
Seward is home to many different attractions. According to an interview done for LIVEMPLS.com, Annie said:
“If Seward were to secede from its surrounding neighborhoods, we would not only survive – without question – we would thrive. Seward has everything it needs to allow for all residents to fulfill every wish and every essential need – and will continue to develop in this direction!”
After looking up the abundance of attractions the small community of Seward has jam packed within its boundaries, I couldn’t agree with this statement more. There is a wide variety of restaurants of all different cuisines, antique shops, boutiques, incredible grocery stores, movie theaters, bars, dance and yoga studios, bike paths, neighborhood gatherings, an immense amount of art galleries and festivals and my particular favorite: home of The Cabooze venue. I have gone to countless concerts and shows at The Cabooze, they play a concert almost every night of all different genres of music to fit anyone’s style.
Besides just having fabulous relationships and things to do in this neighborhood, Seward is known for being one of the most politically liberal neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Being that communication is a key factor in good relationships, I think having a neighborhood that predominately agrees on one of the most controversial topics helps the relationships flourish. It’s easier to run smoothly when most of the neighborhood agrees on what is happening; this helps alienate conflict.
The demographics of Seward tend to shy more towards the poverty line, however. The median household income is around $37,000 a year and Seward is known for having vast amounts of low-income housing. Despite lower incomes, the residents of Seward have a high graduation rate with over 87% of school attendees graduating from high school or higher (nrp.org). This is even higher than my predominately white, higher-income, suburban school. Most of the tenants of Seward are between the ages of 18-35 also, which creates a younger scene. This also helps with patterns of communication; it is often easier to communicate with peers of similar ages, this creates more similarities despite races in Seward.
Overall, I think Seward is a perfect example and other neighborhoods in the area should follow their lead. Seward has figured it out, to say the least. They found a way to have an incredibly diverse yet close community that all the people I interviewed were proud to call home. I would highly recommend this area and the people in it to anyone!
Minneapolis neighborhood profile retrieved from: http://www.nrp.org/r2/neighborhoods/orgs/SEWcensus.pdf
Seward Neighborhood Group retrieved from: http://sng.org/history.html
LIVEMPLS retrieved from :http://www.livemsp.org/neighborhoods/minneapolis-neighborhoods/111-seward/206-seward