November 07, 2022

Rapid City Receiving National Recognition for Work to Improve Race Relations



HRC/MOA delegation serving as panelists

at National Humanities Alliance Conference

RAPID CITY, SD—The public/private relationship and efforts of Rapid City’s Human Relations Commission/Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors (HRC/MOA) to improve racial relations in the community are being recognized nationally this week.

            The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) has invited a delegation from HRC/MOA to attend the Alliance’s conference this week in Los Angeles, CA.  Rapid City is one of three cities participating in a NHA case study.  As part of the conference, Rapid City’s delegation will participate in a panel to discuss how the HRC/MOA partnership has been utilized to initiate projects, community discussions and other efforts working to develop and improve racial relations in the community.

            Rapid City’s delegation will include HRC/MOA members Karen Mortimer, Amy Sazue and Pennington County Commissioner Lloyd LaCroix, City Human Relations Commission coordinator LaFawn Janis and Rapid City Council member Laura Armstrong.

           “I am looking forward to participating in the conference.  The National Humanities Council has been keeping an eye on the work being done in the Rapid City community and we look forward to sharing how we are using humanities tools to address important issues in our community,” said Mortimer of the Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors (MOA). 

           Delegations from Rapid City, Nogales, AZ and Charleston, SC will serve as conference panelists to share the work and efforts of building, developing and improving racial relations in the respective communities.

           “It’s great to have all the hard work and efforts recognized,” said Armstrong.  “We still have much more work to do. It’s an ongoing and evolving process, but the dedicated efforts and commitment by the HRC/MOA group and other individuals and organizations in Rapid City have gained national attention.”

           The Rapid City delegation also hopes the conference will serve as a learning experience for the group.

           "I am excited to serve as a panelist at the conference,” said Sazue.  “As an original member of the HRC task force, I am looking forward to sharing the lessons we’ve learned so far and some of our roadblocks along the way.”

           Janis is also looking forward to learning about the efforts and experiences of other communities.

           “We look forward to sharing our perspectives, experiences and insights,” said Janis.  “But we are also going to learn from the insights of what others are doing in their communities.”

           The NHA conference is scheduled Thursday through Saturday.

           The National Humanities Alliance is a nationwide coalition of organizations advocating for the humanities on campuses, in communities and on Capitol Hill.  The Alliance promotes the value of humanities including the use of humanities in addressing various issues.

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