City to name Human Rights Award recipient

Human Rights Commission will highlight resident in St. Louis Park

Senior+Amaya+Fokuo+gives+a+presentation+to+students.+Fokuo+is+the+chair+of+the+Human+Rights+commission+that+will+decide+the+winner+of+the+award+sometime+in+early+2020.
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City to name Human Rights Award recipient

Senior Amaya Fokuo gives a presentation to students. Fokuo is the chair of the Human Rights commission that will decide the winner of the award sometime in early 2020.

Senior Amaya Fokuo gives a presentation to students. Fokuo is the chair of the Human Rights commission that will decide the winner of the award sometime in early 2020.

Neb Bekele

Senior Amaya Fokuo gives a presentation to students. Fokuo is the chair of the Human Rights commission that will decide the winner of the award sometime in early 2020.

Neb Bekele

Neb Bekele

Senior Amaya Fokuo gives a presentation to students. Fokuo is the chair of the Human Rights commission that will decide the winner of the award sometime in early 2020.

Sam Swisher

Before the winner of the Human Rights Award is chosen, city community organizer Darius Gray said the award is given to people who focus on equality.

“It means that you are someone who works toward and you are seen as a community leader, as well as someone that people look to for a sense of moral right and wrong in the city,” Gray said. “It also demonstrates that people have recognized you to be forthcoming in your convictions for seeking a more thoughtful and inclusive city.”

According to junior Thor Anderson, the school is succeeding in its efforts to be more inclusive.

“In general, we are doing well with inclusivity, certainly the conversations we have. There is a focus in the district, especially in teaching (to) include inclusivity,” Anderson said. “That really helps to bring it to the community at large since it’s something that is being talked about.”

Gray said he hopes the award will encourage the winner to go on to become a leader in the community.

“As a recent graduate of St. Louis Park, my hope is that it will create inspiration for folks around to believe that they can make a positive impact and go on to leadership opportunities within the city,” Gray said.

Gray said attributed the reason for few nominations was because of a lack of promotion in the schools. 

“Thus far we’ve only had a couple of nominations, and I think maybe that is something we should try to do better at by advertising in the schools,” Gray said. “were still looking for nominations, so we’ve expanded our deadline.”

Anderson said the school is having a hard time with the racial achievement gap, but is confident that the school is moving in the right direction.

“We are struggling in that our classes can be very well predicted by race at this point, where the advanced classes are usually very much more white than the school as a whole, and so that’s something that we should be working on right now,” Anderson said. “At the same time, we’re making progress and I think it’s definitely a good step that there are groups working within the school district to help eliminate that achievement gap.”

According to freshman Isaiah Klepfer, creating places for students to talk will help make Park more inclusive.

“The high school could create groups during lunchtime, or during random hours of the day to help people speak their voice or opinion,” Klepfer said.

Gray said the city is positively impacted by the award winners’ ability to make change in the city.

“It’s a good reflection and it helps city members and city leaders to understand who are the people that you can count on, and who can you look toward if you’re trying to make positive impact within the city,” Gray said.

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