Hate crimes forum postponed in St. Cloud due to safety reasons

Hate crimes forum postponed in St. Cloud due to safety reasons Photo: Facebook

Updated: September 18, 2019 05:39 PM

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights and the St. Cloud Area Regional Human Rights Commission postponed the "Dismantling Hate Crimes Forum" that was scheduled Wednesday in St. Cloud.

According to a release from the MDHR, the event was postponed due to safety reasons.

"Hate is not a value in St. Cloud or in any part of our state. Our community deserves better," said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero in a release. "I am heartbroken by the attempts to silence discussion on hate crimes. The goal of the forum was to discuss the community we want to create. One that is full of dignity and joy." 

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The panelists included individuals with lived experiences of hate crimes and discrimination, including Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Jaylani Hussein and Policy and Community Organizer for OutFront Minnesota, Justin Lewandowski. Other panelists included St. Cloud Chief of Police Blair Anderson, Michael Melcher, FBI Supervisory Special Agent, and Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, Teresa Nelson.

MDHR and the St. Cloud Human Rights Commission is working with community partners, local law enforcement and the FBI to plan a future forum that is safe, according to a release.

"We remain committed to advancing a community dialogue focused on dismantling hate crimes," Chair of the Regional Human Rights Commission Eunice Adjei said in the release. "While the decision to postpone the forum was unfortunate, we have renewed energy to ensure this community discussion takes place."

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