Kevin Lindsey

Recent Articles

MN Human Rights Commission updates community on new legislation

C.h.a.t. series used to inform  attendees of State’s efforts toward equity

By Brandi Phillips

Contributing Writer 

On September 10, at the second C.h.a.t. in a series (Community Health Talk Series) Kevin Lindsey, the Commissioner of MN Department of Human Rights, highlighted the state’s efforts to achieve equity and inclusion in the areas of workforce development, health care, state governing practices and procurement practices. In his presentation, he also discussed how to file a discrimination complaint, the hiring of state contractors, the more recent implementation of “Ban the Box” legislation and the Women’s Economic Security Act.  

Discrimination complaints

In his PowerPoint presentation, Commissioner Lindsey informed participants on many of their human rights and encouraged them to share their knowledge with the circles of influence. One of the topics he discussed was how individuals

can file a discrimination complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR). Two important concepts regarding filing a complaint were:

• An attorney is unnecessary as the department will help draft the complaint. Continue Reading →

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Anti-poverty action plan drafted for Minnesota

Like-minded groups pool their efforts to advance economic mobility 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


The anti-poverty group A Minnesota Without Poverty joined with the Pew Charitable Trust to conduct a day-long workshop in early June that brought together like-minded organizations to devise solutions to end poverty in this state. The workshop, called “Economic Mobility: Moving Toward Enough For All,” featured speakers Nancy Maeker of A Minnesota Without Poverty and Erin Currier of the Pew Charitable Trusts. The workshop also included a panel consisting of Jessica Toft, associate professor at the University of St. Thomas; Ernesto Velez Bustos, executive director of Centro Campesino; Christianne Lind, program officer at the Northwest Area Foundation; Kevin Lindsey, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Carolyn Roby, Wells Fargo community relations senior vice president; and Erin Currier. Nancy Maeker explained the purpose of the workshop: “We have pulled together other organizations that are also working on some facet of the bi-partisan Legislative Commission to End Poverty recommendations. Continue Reading →

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Dialogue now focused on how best to strengthen, not eliminate, state ethnic councils

No final decision expected until the 2014-15 legislative session
By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


As previously reported in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the legislative audit of the Minnesota councils of color created quite a stir, containing criticisms of the councils as well as the governor’s office and the legislature for lack of oversight and guidance. The audit suggested four options for improving the operations and efficiency of the councils. One of the suggested options, placing the councils under the auspices of the State Department of Human Rights, seems to have attracted the most attention and the most support. Legislative Auditor James Nobles explained to us that the advantages of such a move would be that “You’re connected into the governor’s cabinet; the Commissioner of Human Rights is a member of the governor’s cabinet and formulates a policy and an agenda that the governor will get behind. And that’s pretty powerful… If you connect up with the governor and his agenda through the Commissioner of Human Rights, I think you’re going to get a little more power behind your message.”

Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Executive Director Ed McDonald disagreed, saying among many other things, “I think that what that would do for the councils is move it into partisan swings. Continue Reading →

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Where is the equity plan for the Viking Stadium?








The Minneapolis City Council passed a binding resolution May 10, 2012, directing the Civil Rights Department to report to the June council meeting: “1) Master agreement details, including stadium equity plan; 2) Enforcement and reporting structure relating to Stadium Equity Plan” (see City Council website, It was approved by Mayor Rybak May 25, 2012. Velma Korbel and her Civil Rights Department has yet to report. Are the State, authority, city council and mayor paying lip service to the stadium legislation or are they serious? No report nor steps to correct reflects “not serious.”

The resolution identifies expectations and reporting responsibilities within the city council’s structure, as defined in Article 1, Section 16, of the stadium legislation. Continue Reading →

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