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The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) recently appointed 33 people to a council charged with reducing disparities within programs serving human services clients.
The Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2013, and will advise the Human Services commissioner on reducing disparities that affect racial and ethnic groups in human services programs and ensure that departmental policies and procedures are aligned to promote the best possible outcomes for all Minnesotans.
“While Minnesota ranks highly in overall health, education and workforce measures, the state continues to exhibit significant disparities among cultural and ethnic communities,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “The work of this council will enable our agency to more fully meet our mission of helping people meet their basic needs so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential.”
The Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council was authorized by the Legislature as a result of recommendations made by the Disparities Reduction Advisory Committee formed by DHS in 2007 to identify and address disparities in access and outcomes for cultural and ethnic communities served by the agency.
Over the course of the next two years, the council will develop a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate with jurisdiction over human services. The report will identify major problems and issues confronting racial and ethnic groups in accessing human services, and will provide recommendations to address the issues.
The council’s members represent the chairs and ranking minority members of Health and Human Services committees at the Legislature; racial and ethnic minority groups; tribal service providers; culturally and linguistically specific advocacy groups and service providers; human services program participants; public and private institutions; parents of human services program participants; members of the faith community; and DHS employees. They are:
The first meeting of the council is scheduled Friday, Nov. 15. More information about the council can be found on the DHS website.