Mission & History


ECHO's mission is to collaborate with diverse communities to deliver programs and services that help people be healthy, contribute, and succeed.

10-Year Vision

ECHO is a growing, dynamic hub of cross-cultural exchange, enhancing the capacity of all individuals to live fully in a multi-cultural world. ECHO is a unique communications model and trusted educational and emergency resource for communities across the nation.



Local and state public health and safety agencies founded ECHO Minnesota as a collaborative project designed to address the growing health, safety and emergency information needs of Minnesota’s rapidly expanding limited English speaking communities. 

A dozen bilingual community leaders became ECHO’s first team of community spokespeople, bringing vital information to African, Latino and SE Asian residents.

ECHO launched ECHO TV in partnership with St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)  and Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) as the first and only series in the country dedicated to presenting health, safety, civic engagement and emergency readiness programs in multiple languages.


ECHO Web launched as an online library of multi-language, multi-media resources featuring information on over 70 health, safety and emergency preparedness topics.


ECHO Phone established with the support of ECHO partners in local public health and safety agencies as the first statewide a toll-free recorded info line providing mult-language seasonal health and safety tips. 


ECHO cited for best-practices in the national journal Health Affairs and noted for promising practices by both Drexel University and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), cementing our reputation as a global leader in multi-language, multi-cultural health and safety communications. 


ECHO broadened its business model, diversified its board of directors and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

In response to requests by community leaders and expanding cultural communities, ECHO added civic engagement programming to facilitate New Americans' transition to life in Minnesota.

ECHO awarded grants from leading foundations, including Otto-Bremer funding the development of its three-year Strategic Plan, setting the stage for future growth. 

ECHO received the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to promote partnerships, explore new programming areas and develop innovative ways to reach cultures with health and safety information.  

ECHO TV began broadcasting statewide.


ECHO published the Emergency Operations Plan, formalizing emergency activation procedures and laying the groundwork for future emergency response services.  

Clay County Public Health activated ECHO to provide multi-language safety resources in the wake of the Red River Flood – and ECHO partnered with the Minnesota Department of health to produce H1N1 flu resources in 12 languages.

Visits to ECHO Web increased by over 200% from 2008.  

Through expanded partnerships with community-based radio stations, ECHO radio launched to provide critical H1N1 information in 12 languages to diverse communities statewide.