Human Relations Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Human Relations Commission - October 15, 2020 Minutes

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Human Relations Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 15, 2020.

The Human Relations Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Cheryl Schaefle, Matuor Alier, Barry Nelson (via conference call), Hamida Dakane, Cody Severson, Ahmed Shiil, Carolyn Becraft

Absent: Laetitia Hellerud, Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir

Item 1. Welcome and Introductions
Chair Alier welcomed Members to the meeting and introductions were made.

Item 2. Approve Order of Agenda
Member Becraft moved the Order of Agenda be approved as presented. Second by Member Severson. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Member Shill present.

Item 3. Approve Order of Minutes
Member Schaefle moved the minutes of the September 17, 2020 Human Relations Commission meeting be approved as presented. Second by Member Dakane. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 4. Public Comment
No public comment provided.

Item 5. Presentation: Employer and Employee Rights and Responsibilities under Title 1 of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act): Jerry Christiansen, Freedom Resource Center
Jerry Christiansen gave a presentation on the background of the Freedom Resource Center, the work they perform, and an overview of employer and employee rights and responsibilities as related to disabilities and accessibility.

Discussion was held on what is considered a disability.

Paul Zondo inquired about job applications asking about disabilities, and cultural views seeing disability as a weakness.

Victoria Johnson spoke regarding if limited English skills were protected under the ADA.

Discussion continued on continuing the legacy of Keith Bjornson, and examples of unreasonable accommodations.

Item 6. Old Business
a. Hate Crime Response process – Lt. George Vinson, Fargo Police Department
Lieutenant George Vinson, Fargo Police Department, provided an overview of hate crimes, how to report them, and how they are processed.

Discussion was held on local tracking of hate crimes.

Faith Dixon spoke on her concerns of police processing of hate crime reports, how activists can respond to threats of violence, and community/police education.

Further discussion as held regarding continuing community conversations, documenting incidents and threats, and harassment versus terrorizing.

Ms. Johnson inquired on next steps of receiving threats.

Lt. Vinson stated officers are committed to doing what is best for the community.

b. Meeting Frequency & Structure Work Group Update
This item was tabled to the next meeting.

c. HRC Liaison Positions Work Group Update
This item was tabled to the next meeting.

Item 7. Staff Update
Assistant Planner Catlyn Christie noted the staff report was included in the packet for Board members to review.

Item 8. Announcements
No announcements were given.

Item 9. Adjourn
The time at adjournment was 1:00 p.m.