Coalition of Asian American Leaders listening tour stops in Rochester

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(ABC 6 News) – Members of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) is touring the state hoping to expand leadership and support for minorities.

The Twin Cities based group, which started in 2013, is traveling throughout southern Minnesota for a listening tour and stopped in Rochester on Thursday.

CAAL members met with city leaders and state lawmakers and held a roundtable discussion with nearly two dozen Rochester community members. The goal is to build connections beyond the Twin Cities and connect minority groups from northern Minnesota to southern Minnesota.

"What we’re learning is, each community is extremely unique depending on the size of the population and the ethnic make-up of the population," said CAAL Executive Director ThaoMee Xiong, "in greater Minnesota more folks of color are coming together to build cross-racial solidarity, because there are not significant numbers of one population or the other, but they realize that combining their collective power has been a very important way of making progress."

This is the first time since the pandemic, CAAL members are visiting communities in person. Their next stop includes Winona and Duluth.