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MDHR Protecting Human Rights for 50 Years

MDHR's 50th Anniversary

MDHR Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

In 2017 the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will celebrate its 50th anniversary as the state agency responsible for implementing the Human Rights Act.

Over the past 50 years, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has carried out its three primary duties under the Act by investigating claims of discrimination, ensuring workforce opportunities on state contracts and educating the broader community about policies that have a disparate impact upon other individuals.

50th Logo FinalOn May 25th, 1967, Minnesota Governor Harold LeVander (R) signed legislation creating the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. A few weeks later, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights became a state agency on July 1, 1967. 

The creation of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in 1967 rests on the foundation of the civil rights achievements of the 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963, during the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. King's speech is considered by many historians to be the catalyst for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Over the past 50 years, the issues surrounding civil and human rights have evolved, and yet, the basic principles of the Minnesota Human Rights Act have remained central to the mission of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. 

In celebration of 50 years of protecting human rights, the Department will host a series of events in 2017.  To kick off the celebration, MDHR will host an event April 27 in the Capitol Rotunda. 

In addition, Twin Cities Public Television will air three 30-minute television documentaries for broadcast on public televisions across the state. The programs will explore the history of the Department over the past 50 years; the future of human rights and the role of MDHR in building on that promise; and the transformation of Affirmative Action to Diversity and Inclusion. The programs will air in June, July, and August. Please stay tuned for more information.

Learn more about Human Rights in Minnesota and the Nation as we celebrate MDHR's 50th Anniversary.

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