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Human Rights Commission

This commission seeks to ensure equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, and education.

About

The Human Rights Commission assists the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in implementing state laws against discrimination and advises the City Council on long-range programs to ensure that human service needs are met.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Human Rights

View meeting agendas and minutes > 

Commission members

Group of men and women standing in front of colorful wall

Name District representing Term ends
Brooks, Thomas West April 1, 2020
Eriksen, Christian (Chair)
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At-large April 1, 2020
Hostetler, John Mark West April 1, 2021
Hussain, Nausheena East April 1, 2020
King, Aja At-large April 1, 2022
Shevlin-Woodcock, Cindy Central April 1, 2022
Volltrauer, Scott At-large April 1, 2021
Walton, Kate East April 1, 2022
Wang, Minn Central April 1, 2021

To get contact information on a Commissioner, please email the staff liaison below.

Council liaison

Mark Mata

Staff liaison

Wokie Freeman-Gbogba

Roles and duties

The Human Rights Commission promotes equity and inclusion in the community and works to ensure equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations and services, education and full participation in the affairs of the city for all members of the community. Some of the important duties include:

  • Receive discrimination complaints and figure out if the complaint should be forwarded to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for further action or to Community Mediation and Restorative Services for conflict resolution
  • Partner with other organizations and individuals to educate the community and end discrimination and inequities
  • Advise the Mayor, City Council and city staff on civil and human rights issues
  • Help in planning to protect the human rights of all members of the community

What is illegal discrimination?

The Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Statutes, Chapter 363A), the state’s comprehensive civil rights law, declares that certain types of differential treatment are unfair, discriminatory practices and against the law. The Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and real property, public accommodations, public services, education, credit services and business.

Not every act that is unfair or unreasonable is illegal. To be considered unlawful under the Human Rights Act, the discrimination must have happened because of one of the following reasons:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Receipt of public assistance
  • Age
  • Family status (housing only)
  • Human Rights Commission activity (employment only).

These personal characteristics are also called “protected classes.”

Does that mean that only some people — and not others — are protected by the Human Rights Act?

No: the Human Rights Act protects everyone in Minnesota, because everyone has a race, sex, and many of the other characteristics that are covered.

If you feel like you have been discriminated against in Brooklyn Park, please contact Wokie Freeman-Gbogba, Human Rights Commission Staff Liaison, at 763-493-8005 or Wokie.Freeman@ BrooklynPark.Org to file a complaint.

A Bias Complaint Form (PDF) can also be submitted to the email above or mailed to/dropped off at City Hall (Human Rights Commission, City of Brooklyn Park, 5200 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443).

HRC Purple Lights Initiative

The Purple Lights Initiative was recently kickstarted by our Human Rights Commission. The idea is simple: light up the city with purple bulbs to show support for domestic violence victims and survivors, who are often suffering in secret. Please watch this video with Commissioner Aja King who explains the initiative and the importance of creating awareness.

Apply to become a commissioner

Applications are always welcome! Applications are kept on file for one year. As openings occur, applicants are notified of openings and invited to participate in the commission interview process.

Term

Three years

Meets

3rd Thursday of every month, 6:00 p.m.

Time commitment (approximate)

Two to five hours per month