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Press Releases - COVID-19

Posted on: October 9, 2020

Edina HRRC to Host ‘Community Conversation on Race, Justice and Policing'

Edina, Minn., Oct. 6, 2020 – The City of Edina’s Human Rights & Relations Commission will host a “Community Conversation on Race, Justice & Policing” 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Several community members and representatives of the Police Department will form a panel to talk their experiences in Edina and the impacts of those experiences. They will also discuss ways the community can continue a dialogue about the topic and what the community and individuals can do to make advances in race, justice and policing. 

“Our experiences with race, justice and policing may be polar opposites depending on our race. Still, with honest reflections and open, constructive conversations, we can move beyond our past hurts and misunderstandings,” said Commissioner Mark Felton in stressing the importance of the Community Conversation. “We must because our destinies as Americans are inextricably tied together. We truly are ‘better together.’”

Panelists, who will be moderated by Edina resident and professional video producer Dietrich Nissen, include:

  • Arnie Bigbee, community volunteer and former Tom Oye Human Rights Award Winner
  • Gary Bridges, resident and Edina Public Schools employee
  •  Hope Melton, urban planner and coordinator of Edina Neighbors for Affordable Housing
  • Sabeeh Mirza, Human Rights & Relations Student Commissioner
  • David Nelson, Police Chief
  • Dave Venne, Police Sergeant

“The issue of race, justice and policing has been here for hundreds of years – individually and collectively,” said Race & Equity Coordinator Heidi Lee, staff liaison to the Human Rights & Relations Commission. “The purpose of this Community Conversation is for people to share their perspectives and experiences. Listening to another’s perspective and experiences, especially when it is different than yours, can help with understanding, building relationships and healing together to move forward.”

Residents are encouraged to tune in to Edina TV (Comcast Channel 813 or 16) or watch the Community Conversation online:

For more information, visit or call 952-826-1622.

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