MOA has joined forces with the Rapid City Human Relations Commission

In 2020, the Human Relations Commission (HRC) Task Force was formed and charged with examining the current status of the HRC and making recommendations for the future to better serve Rapid City.

The task force had a strong desire to help address race relations in our city, but understood that the current HRC was not accomplishing its mission due to low community response. It was then that they reached out to MOA, and a partnership was born. 

Today, we have become a public-private partnership united in the purpose of building a community alliance designed to be a neutral forum where all sides can be heard. Our MOA team will continue to work in the community, and we are joined by the nine-member Human Relations Commission that was formed in winter of 2020.

The Human Relations Commissioners are:
Karen Mortimer, Chair
Lloyd LaCroix, Vice Chair
Bill May, Treasurer
Denise Maher, Secretary
Paula Long Fox
Father Cody Maynus
Jessica Rogers
Amy Sazue 
Whitney Rencountre

Lakota Nation Invitational
One of the most important events of the year for our community is the Lakota Nation Invitational. MOA has been a sponsor of the LNI for years, and we were excited to support the event again this year under our new partnership.

This year, HRC-MOA was on hand at the red carpet welcome to greet students and teams as they entered the tournament. We also supported the popular Hand games tournament by providing quilts for winning teams, and gift cards for individual youth participants. We look forward to being a part of the LNI in years to come, and invite you to join us next year.
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Learning Forums
We hosted the first session of our learning forum, “The more YOU know, the better WE do,” at Western Dakota Tech last June. We invited the Rapid City community to participate in an uplifting, informative listening session focused on learning how resources in our community are addressing needs. The forum was a success, and we look forward to hosting more sessions in 2022.

We’re grateful for a grant from Emmanuel Episcopal Church that will help us host our upcoming sessions of “The more YOU know, the better WE do.” We feel this will be an impactful experience in our community, and if you’re interested in being part of it, we’d love to discuss how you can help ensure this program is a success. 
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South Dakota Community Foundation Grant
Last summer, we were honored to receive $20,000 from the South Dakota Community Foundation’s Community Innovation Grant awards. 

We are using funds from this grant to support launching our Immersion in Place community awareness project. Details are still being finalized, but we cannot wait to share more about this incredible project with you soon!
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Wotakuye Gluwasakapi
I. Am. Legacy. of Rapid City hosted a four day event at the Knollwood Townhouses November 19-22, 2021. The neighborhood has been plagued by violence and crime this last year, and the community came together for kinship, culture, and healing.

HRC-MOA assisted with programmatic support, meals, and funding for cultural activities such as drum circles throughout the four day event. It is by supporting events like this that we hope to open the door for more conversations and increase awareness of issues that impact our community.
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Where We’re Going
As we look to 2022, expect even more change and great things ahead.

We hope to host four sessions of “The More You Know, the Better We Do,” and we hope you’ll join us. We will also continue to sponsor community events like the LNI and Memorial Walk, and introduce Wacipi 101; an educational walkthrough of the Pow Wow.

We also expect to continue our Human Relations Commission work by educating the commissioners and conducting more mediation sessions as appropriate. 

Finally, we hope to launch a new project that will help educate our friends and neighbors about the rich culture and heritage that exists right here in Rapid City. More details to come, but we can’t wait to tell you all about it.  
Wopila Tanka — Thank You 
Thank you to all of our donors and supporters. We are grateful for your generosity that helps us BEAM in our community every day.

We are grateful for each and every person who has supported us financially in this work. You cannot put a dollar amount on what it means to have each and every one of you alongside us in this journey. We appreciate your support, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for all the great things we have planned.

We would also like to thank our corporate donors who have invested in us from the very start:
Black Hills Community Bank
Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Surgical Hospital
Dakota Charitable Foundation
Elevate Rapid City
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Monument Health
Scull Construction
South Dakota Community Foundation
The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota

We are also grateful for Black Hills Community Foundation for their support and for hosting our donation portal. Their help allows us to focus on our work while giving us peace of mind that your generous support is in good hands.