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October 4, 2021
Letter to the Editor:
Promoting the Winona Human Rights Commission
The purpose of the Winona Human Rights Commission (WHRC) is to secure for all citizens:
* Equal opportunity in employment
* Full participation in the affairs of the community
* Public accommodations
* Public services and education
This is done by assisting the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in implementing the Minnesota Human Rights Act and by working with Winona's City Council on various matters to benefit the community.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act is the state law prohibiting discrimination in Minnesota and is enforced by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The Act is one of the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights laws in the country. The Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, education, credit, and business based on protected classes including: race, religion, disability, national origin, sex, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity. In turn, locally, the WHRC is empowered to investigate allegations of discrimination in such areas. Please contact us if you believe that we can be of service to you.
In an effort to ensure the implementation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the WHRC advises the City Council on long-range programs to improve community relations and supports resolutions which support human rights. In addition, the WHRC engages in efforts to acknowledge the human rights of all persons in the Winona community. It recognizes community members involved in human rights work through the annual Winona County Human Rights Award. To recognize and increase youth awareness of human rights, the WHRC holds the annual Human Rights Essay Contest open to Middle and High School students.
The WHRC holds meetings on the first Wednesday of each month and encourages all persons to attend. If you are interested in serving on the WHRC, please go to our page on the City of Winona website (www.cityofwinona.com) to view openings and to download the application form.