What we do

The CommUNITY Relations Commission is a public commission supported by our community with a goal to B.E.A.M. (Bridge - Educate - Advocate - Model Respect)

We Provide:

  • Support for local cultural programming
  • Create and support events and activities in our community that bring people together and address community issues
  • Sponsor and host a community series of public forums (“The More YOU Know… The Better WE Do”)
  • Provide a safe space to report discriminatory acts or safety concerns
  • Offer mediation services as a means for resolving conflicts and deepening understanding of circumstances and events that create divides in our community
  • Provide “case management” services for complaints that reach city, state, and federal levels of discrimination

Our forum series has been named, “The more YOU know… the better WE do,” as we believe wholeheartedly that every member of our community has an obligation to be their best informed versions of themselves and we provide the space for our community to join us in learning.

 

We BEAM.

We bridge cultures.  We educate ourselves and others.  We advocate.  We model respect 

These are ways we put BEAM into action and would invite our community to join us.

Bridge

We support community efforts and programs that celebrate diversity.

We support community efforts and programs that celebrate diversity, such as the LNI, the Black Hills Wacipi (POW WOW), the Rapid City Indian School Lands Project and Memorial Walk and others. Our goal is to expand and include diverse perspectives and programs to best represent our community demographics with authenticity.

One Example is the community driven and city supported Lakota Nation Invitational “Red Carpet Welcome”. Community leaders came together at a critical moment to support a huge economic driver for our community and an amazing showcase of young Indigenous talent, ranging from basketball to traditional hand games in effort to mend race relations in Rapid City. Teams from the local area and surrounding reservations are now escorted into town by police escorts and signs were made for the downtown area that read “Glad you are here!” in both English and Lakota. Bryan Brewer, the LNI Board President, said in response, “You used to chase us out of here and now you have the police escorting us in!”

 

Educate

We want to foster conversations and experiences that bring healing, that educate our community and support us to speak the truth.

We are committed to holding forums that address critical issues that affect all of us through our “The more YOU know, the better WE do,” series.

Another example is our support of efforts to educate our community about the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project. This project and the independent research that has been done by this team, is a case study into race relations and the legacy of dislocation and segregation that Rapid City has.

The CRC is committed to providing educational opportunities to address cultural knowledge and sensitive issues that affect all of us. Please follow to keep up with what new or continued educational initiative is happening next! 

Advocate

Provide a safe space for all citizens’ voices to be heard.

Serves as a resource in instances of discrimination, misunderstandings, or disputes that intentional and honest conversation might resolve.

Provide a safe space to report discriminatory acts or safety concerns through our Intake form for complaints or concerns.

Provide Case Management services for anyone filing a state or federal complaint to ensure their case receives any support needed.

Offer mediation services, or help guide conversations to help resolve disputes, as well as provide referrals to other potential community resources when appropriate.

Share the services we provide and who we are to reach diverse groups of our community.

 

Model respectful behavior

Our goal is to create a community that is safe, culturally aware, inclusive, and respectful of people of all races and backgrounds.

The CRC encourages RESPECT!

One way we are actively doing this work is by providing “Cultural Impact Panels” to bring people together after an instance of misunderstanding.

It is important to us to acknowledge the ways that discrimination and/or racism impact people in our community and our panels are one way to invite both parties to come together in an honest and positive conversation.

As part of our Intake process for complaints, the commission reaches out to all parties involved, ensuring everyone that the process will be equitable and transparent for everyone.