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Parga joins Southwest Initiative Foundation as community engagement specialist

Parga and fellow SWIF staff will lead the foundation’s Grow Our Own framework, focused on helping southwest Minnesota kids and families reach their full potential from cradle to career.

Ivan Parga
Ivan Parga
Photo courtesy Southwest Initiative Foundation
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HUTCHINSON — Ivan Parga, Worthington, has joined Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) staff as a community engagement specialist. In this role, he works to identify local strengths and challenges, build community-based skills and be a resource to the region through community-led partnerships, especially with Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

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Parga previously worked in corporate community engagement. He’s also been involved in local and electoral politics as well as various nonprofits and projects, including Be the Change and Voices for Racial Justice.

“Connecting to people, hearing their stories, and taking steps to make sure those stories are validated and advocated for are some of the reasons this role is a great fit for me,” Parga said. “Southwest Initiative Foundation’s mission and values are aligned with mine, particularly in our shared goals of continuing to develop and advocate for southwest Minnesota.”

Community engagement is core to Southwest Initiative Foundation’s mission of connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities. The foundation brings people together with innovative approaches to build vibrant and welcoming communities. Parga and fellow SWIF staff will lead the foundation’s Grow Our Own framework, focused on helping southwest Minnesota kids and families reach their full potential from cradle to career.

“We are delighted to have Ivan on the SWIF team. His passion and skills will help develop new initiatives and projects that move us toward a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive,” said Nancy Fasching, SWIF Vice President of Community Impact.

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Parga is the second community engagement specialist to join the foundation in the last year. Than Than Kyaw started in a similar role Aug. 22, 2022. The community impact team has expanded to reflect the increasing needs and requests from communities that are working on being places where all people feel welcome and like they belong.

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