Fergus Falls, MN — Benjamin Schierer knows diversity creates strong communities. He learned this firsthand when he traveled the world early in his career. He brought an appreciation for diverse people and different points of view with him when he returned home to Minnesota, a place he values for its model of collaborative leadership and emphasis on the common good. He believes that inclusivity and equity are not simply campaign slogans but a way of governing and a way to build vital communities. As a business owner and mayor of Fergus Falls, he wants to foster conversations to counter misinformation and division along political, racial and geographic lines. Because leading effectively at the local level will take exceptional communication skills, he will improve his public speaking and storytelling. He also intends to earn a master’s degree in public affairs.