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Moorhead passes 'Inclusive Community' resolution

Moorhead City Hall. Ethan Nelson / The Forum

MOORHEAD — A full council chambers erupted in applause Monday, Sept. 25, after members unanimously approved a resolution declaring the community is inclusive and stands united against intolerance.

The resolution was penned by council member Mari Dailey who said there was no particular impetus to have it on Monday night's agenda. But in light of now-cancelled plans for a KKK rally next month in Fargo-Moorhead and recent crime against Somali-Americans in the community, she said it was time to make a statement against hate.

"[There's] a growing sense of divisiveness in our community and country," Dailey said. "We tend to be a warm, welcoming community and I think we need to make a statement and come out strongly about that. We need to stand together with this."

The resolution states that Moorhead "celebrates our diversity," whereas "organizations or individuals or doctrines promoting differentiation or superiority based on race, religion, gender identification, age, ability, or country of origin are scientifically false, morally condemnable, hateful, socially unjust and dangerous."

Dailey said she shared a copy of the resolution with the Fargo City Commission and it was received by the Human Relations Commission. Members are expected to discuss and vote on an identical resolution at a later date.

Somali community leader and activist Hukun Abdullahi, executive director of the Afro American Development Association in Moorhead, commended the council for supporting the resolution given the rise of hate groups and crimes. He reminded residents the importance of helping one another and to diligently report crimes.

"This resolution can bring communities together. As a minority it is truly a privilege to speak in front of you this evening," he said. "Needless to say, this makes me a proud Moorhead resident."

Several other residents addressed the council in favor of the resolution and dozens showed up in support. Council member Heidi Durand thanked the diverse crowd for attending.

"I think prejudice and hate are opportunistic. I think they feed off of communities that are slightly disarrayed," Durand said. "Coming out and proclaiming our intolerance for intolerance is a way to fight that. The only way we're going to fight hate is to be united."

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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