RAPID CITY, SD – The Rapid City Human Relations Commission (HRC) has partnered with Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Aambassadors (MOA) to hold their first public forum, âThe more you know, the better we do.
Both the HRC and MOA forum have been redesigned with the goal of raising community awareness and bridging the gaps around race relations.
âThe Human Relations Commission is now really trying to create a larger network to educate the community on what racism might look like, and then how we can get people to participate in this process,â said the HRC MOA coordinator. , Malcom Chapman. “For lack of a better term, it’s always a complaints process, it’s a reactive process where if people have been discriminated against, then we have recourse so that they then go through these channels. public in order to then be able to meet these needs. “
The MOA has a slightly different approach to community outreach, following the acronym BEAM: bclear cultures, educate ourselves and educate others, defend and model respect.
“Some people are aware and are wondering,” said Karen Mortimer, director of the MOA and president of the HRC. âThey know that people have great needs. They have needs in terms of security, housing, food and security, health, a variety of things. There are people who are vulnerable in our community, and what are we doing about them. There are other people who are not even aware of these needs.
Through the forum, the HRC and MOA were able to educate the community and provide resources. TRapid City Police Department, Fire Department Mobile Unit, Health and Human Services, Care Campus, Oyate Health, Miniluzahan Camp and Creek Patrol participated in a panel to discuss their roles and collaboration in the community.
âAs a law enforcement agency, we are the 24/7 guardians of vulnerable people in our community,â said Don Hedrick, Rapid City Police Chief. “But being at a meeting like this helps to emphasize that we are part of a team, and there are a lot of other entities out there working to bring help to those in need.” . So I think for us it’s how can we collaborate more with the people who work to serve.
âWe have heard people actively collaborate in their discussions with each other,â Mortimer said. âYou could see an overlap, you could see organizations supporting each other. Finding new ways to do things better. I feel like it was a step forward.
Despite the collaboration between organizations, it is not often that they find the time to sit down and meet and discuss their future roles and goals.
“MOA of CRH as an organization is trying to create an environment where we can bring people together in our community through all kinds of spectra, just being together and learning together, âsaid Malcom. âAnd I think from that learning we will identify the gaps that exist and maybe think about how we provide services for those areas as well.
After the forum, those in attendance could pose questions to the panel to learn more about what specific organizations are doing and how to get involved. Ultimately, the organization is confident Rapid City will see an improvement in race relations when people think it’s their community and their issue to weigh.
âRelationships are important,â Mortimer said. âHistory and place matter, but relationships really matter. And we will make a difference when we get to know each other.