HRC and MOA first public forum is a success

June 17, 2021

NewsCenter1 Staff

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) has joined forces with the Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors (MOA) to hold their first public forum, “The more you know, the better we do.

The HRC and MOA forum were both re-imagined with the purpose of providing outreach to the community and bridging gaps around race relations.

“The Human Relations Commission now is really trying to create a broader network to educate the community of what racism might look like, and then how we can get people into that process,” said HRC MOA Coordinator, Malcom Chapman. “For lack of a better term, it’s still a complaint process, it’s a reactive process where if people have faced discrimination, then we have some recourse for them to then come through these public channels to then be able to address those needs.”

The MOA has a slightly different approach to community outreach, following the acronym BEAM: bridging cultures, educating ourselves and others, advocacy, and modeling respect.

“Some people are aware and are wondering, said MOA director and HRC chair, Karen Mortimer. “They know that people have great needs. They have needs in terms of safety, in terms of housing, in terms of food and security, health, a variety of different things. There are people who are vulnerable in our community, and what are we doing to address that. There are other people who are even unaware of those needs.”

Through the forum, the HRC and MOA were able to educate the community and provide resources. The Rapid City Police Department, the Fire Department Mobile Unit, Health and Humans Services, Care Campus, Oyate Health, Miniluzahan Camp, and Creek Patrol participated in a panel to discuss their roles and collaboration in the community.