Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

Recent Articles

A Civil Rights and faith leader passes from the American scene

As discussed last week, the Rev. Dr. Lillian Anthony was the first Director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, appointed in late 1967 by then Mayor Arthur Naftalin. Dr. Anthony quietly passed from this life at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, June 26, 2014. Her memorial will be in Louisville, July 11, 2014. The Rev. Dr. Anthony’s history, legacy and accomplishments are legendary. She was clearly the right choice to head the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, setting a new tone for race relations in the city. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A reappointment that is a mistake

Velma Korbel to again head Dept. of Civil Rights

Velma Korbel’s reappointment by newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges to continue as Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) director is a huge mistake that nonetheless exposes the city culture we have long reported: that city government, regardless of who is in charge, is a culture opposed to diversity (the silence on this by the DFL, churches, foundations, and Black nonprofits places them in the same culture). Shamefully, leading Black organizations participate in this culture as they compete for their share of the spoils at the expense of those they are supposed to serve and represent. Velma Korbel’s reappointment continues a departmental disaster going back through two permanent directors and one interim director. The African American community will continue to be ill served as seen by the 99 percent White work force of the Vikings stadium. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The Vikings Stadium: a historic reckoning point in its history regarding the equity plan

 Vikings Stadium legislation called for an equity plan outlining Black participation in construction contracts and workers. Its absence is the story of continued injustice, discrimination, and official sneering at the idea of Black participation. This major story of 2012-2013 will be a 2013-2014 albatross around the necks of the self-appointed and imaginary Twin Cities leaders and journalists who stand silent as the Equity Plan sinks in “best effort” cement boots to a lake bottom. In the People’s Stadium’s two big broken promises — equity plan and “no new taxes” — we see how the “rights culture” of the 1960s has continued too many aspects of the Democratic Party’s White rights Jim Crow culture in American cities, with the purposeful disobeying of the requirement to bring an Equity Plan for seating African Americans at the stadium construction economic table. State legislature mandated an equity plan. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Mpls City Council honors winners of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest


On Friday, January 27, in the City Hall council chamber, the Minneapolis City Council honored nine Minneapolis students who were chosen as winners of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest, sponsored each year by the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights. Eight-grade winners are Conlan Olson (Anthony Middle School), Kulle Basha (Anne Sullivan School) and Virginia Rendler (Anthony Middle School). Seventh-grade winners are Giselle Durand (Anthony Middle School), Emily Van Ryn (Anthony Middle School) and Fartun Hassan (Anne Sullivan School). Sixth-grade winners are Shukri Isse (Learning for Leadership), Naimo Hussein (Learning for Leadership) and Saabiriin Mohamed (Learning for Leadership)

Read the first-place winners’ essays below:
The right of children and families to adequate food sources

By Conlan Olson
Eighth-grade essay
contest winner
Anthony Middle School

Norman Borlaug, an American agronomist who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for advancing farming productivity and thereby increasing the food supply in developing countries, once said, “…The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.”
Many people share his opinion that in a fair global society, every human should be provided with food if they cannot provide it for themselves. This especially applies to children in impoverished families. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,