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A look inside Mid-Missouri's international communities

In Columbia, more than 8 percent of the population is foreign-born, compared with just under 4 percent on average in the rest of Missouri. In Columbia Public Schools, there are 61 different languages spoken amongst the students in the English Language Learning programs. Today on Intersection we’re talking about mid-Missouri’s international communities. Why is Columbia more culturally diverse than other parts of the Midwest? What is life like in Columbia for people from around the world, and how does their presence affect the town as a whole?

Today we’re joined by three guests who work and live on the frontlines of mid-Missouri’s international communities - and two of them were born outside the US, but now call Columbia home.


Noor Azizan-Gardner, chief diversity officer at the University of Missouri.

Eduardo Crespi, a registered nurse and founder of Centro Latino.

Shelly Fair, coordinator of English Language Learning programs for the Columbia public school district.

Ryan served as the KBIA News Director from February 2011 to September 2023
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