Press Release

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 29, 2012

Governor Mark Dayton Proclaims December 2-8 as Human Rights Week in Minnesota

Week of Events Celebrates Human Rights Achievements, Explores Issues of Equality, Social Justice

As Governor Mark Dayton proclaims the week of December 2-8 as Human Rights Week in Minnesota, Minnesotans are being offered a week-long smorgasbord of human rights events, beginning with a symposium on Monday, Dec. 3, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

The Governor's proclamation reminds Minnesotans of our state's rich diversity of races, cultures, beliefs and ways of life, and of the need to secure freedom from discrimination for all people. A series of events throughout the week recognizes work being done, and challenges remaining, in addressing disparities, removing barriers of discrimination, and ensuring equal opportunity.

"We're honored that Governor Dayton, through this proclamation, has recognized the role of the Department of Human Rights, as well as that of community-based partners and all Minnesotans concerned with human rights and social justice," said Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

"We have worked with partners to ensure that Human Rights Week provides opportunities for Minnesotans to learn about the latest human rights developments, and participate in ongoing conversations about critical issues," Lindsey said.

Human Rights Week Events

The Human Rights Symposium

The Department of Human Rights kicks off Human Rights Week in Minnesota with an all-day symposium providing must-have information on key issues for everyone concerned with human rights. Three tracks of workshops on employment, criminal justice, and public policy issues explore topics like sexual harassment, school bullying, criminal background checks, voting rights, and social media, among others. Cost is $70 per individual. Registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 30, 4 PM.

Date: Monday, December 3
Time: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1890 Buford Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

The Criminal Justice System in Minnesota: Youth and Employment

Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey and the University of St. Thomas Law School Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds will discuss efforts to reduce the barriers to employment for those with prior conviction records. Professor Levy-Pounds will also discuss a recent report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, "On The Level," which found that Minnesota's juvenile justice system is rife with racial inequalities.  

Date: Tuesday, December 4
Time: 12:30-2 pm
Location: University of St. Thomas Law School

An Event to Honor Dr. Josie Johnson

Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey will honor Dr. Josie Johnson with the Humanitarian Service Award.  Dr. Johnson has shown outstanding character, commitment to equity, social justice, and human dignity. The public is invited to join us in honoring her with this award. 

Date: Wednesday, December 5
Time: 8:30-10 am
Location: Minneapolis Urban League

Business Inclusion: Ensuring Opportunities for Minority Enterprises

A panel discussion focuses on business inclusion and strategies to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to participate in our economy. Panelists include Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Craig Taylor, Director for the Office of Business and Community Economic Development at the University of Minnesota; and Dr. Sam Myers, Professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  

Date: Wednesday, December 5
Time: 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
Location: Humphrey Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs


In addition to the public events, several organizations are sponsoring events during Human Rights Week:

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Carlson Chairman Marilyn Carlson Nelson will host Commissioner Kevin Lindsey at an invitation only event at Carlson world headquarters in Minnetonka.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, Commissioner Lindsey will speak at the Hennepin County Bar Association (HBCA) in Minneapolis on current trends in bullying, intimidation and harassment in Minnesota schools, and review existing Minnesota law. Commissioner Lindsey served as a member of the Prevention of Bullying Task Force, which was formed by Governor Dayton earlier this year to ensure that all students have a safe learning environment.  


For more information please contact: Jeff Holman, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, 651.539.1090,

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