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Enough is enough: Duluth’s Human Rights Commission calls for end to systemic racism

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DULUTH, MN -- The Duluth Human Rights Commission is calling for change to end systemic racism.

"Daunte Wright didn't deserve to die. We know that Daunte Jr. deserved to have his daddy by his side as he reached all his life milestones," chair of the Commission Bennita Keppers said during Tuesday's press conference.

The plea for change comes after Wright's death in Brooklyn Center Sunday, the recent attacks of members of the Asian American Pacific Islanders during the pandemic, and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's ongoing murder trial.

"Being able to put up a united front and saying this is not something we accept, and this is something we as a commission fight against, is very important for community knowledge," said commission member Tyra Garamillo.

Human Rights Commission members say overcoming systemic racism needs to be an ongoing conversation for everyone.

"It is a continued conversation for anyone in the BIPOC community. And that the people who stop talking about it are the people who it doesn't affect," added Garamillo.

The Commission is encouraging everyone to attend a virtual listening session Wednesday night to hear local community members share their experiences.

Keppers adds, "If we choose to not listen to BIPOC folks, sharing their experiences and trusting their truth we are choosing the side of the oppressor."

They are hopeful the session can be a place where everyone feels heard and creates new steps toward ending violence against minority communities.

"It's also there so as a commission when we decide what's the next issue we want to talk about," said Garamillo. "What's the next issue we want to work with the community about we want to know what's on their minds, so we know what's important to the people that we're serving."

The listening session will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Click here for more information about how to attend.

Commission members say if a lot of people attend, they will host more.

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Emma Quinn

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