This past month Governor Tim Walz established the Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group, to be co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. According to the official release, the group’s scope:
Is to develop and implement near and long-term strategies and guidance within the State to best support recovery and resiliency with intentional focus on Black, Latinx, and Asian community members, people of color, Tribal Nations that share their geography within Minnesota, Indigenous communities, and immigrants including undocumented communities, mixed status families, and refugees.
The social, economic, and health-related disparities that already impact these communities at an alarming have only been magnified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are populations of color, indigenous people, immigrants, and refugees more likely to suffer severe illness from the novel coronavirus, but these groups are disproportionately represented in low-wage, essential jobs further increasing their risk of exposure.
For an overview of the Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group and its COVID-19 initiatives related to such things as healthcare, housing, education, unemployment assistance, small business support, and public safety strategies including comprehensive efforts for those who are incarcerated as well as those working at correctional facilities, please visit here.
In addition, the Governor recently signed Executive Order 20-39 “that ensures Minnesotan’s civil rights are protected during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.” This order extends deadlines to file claims, respond to claims, and appeal determinations. For more details on Executive Order 20-39, click here.
And, on a final note, in response to an increase in incidents of racist and xenophobic bias throughout the state, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has created a dedicated Discrimination Helpline at 833-454-0148 or online at mn.gov. The Discrimination Helpline website also provides graphics, social media content, and other important information in a total of 17 languages.