County board actions: Board declares racism a public health crisis

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county board actions


Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

Board declares racism a public health crisis

The board voted to declare racism a public health crisis in Hennepin County.

Due to racism, Black, Indigenous and people of color in Hennepin County statistically have poorer educational outcomes, earn less, and are less likely to own homes or have access to quality health care and jobs than White people. These disparities have lifelong impacts, including higher disease rates, and, as we’re seeing now, higher rates of COVID-19.

Naming racism as a systemic cause to disparities is key to continue to move this work forward.

Read the full news release.

Naloxone distribution at county jail and high-risk communities

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office will receive grant funding to distribute Naloxone kits at the county jail and in communities with high rates of opioid overdose.

The jail’s medical team will distribute kits to people who request assistance upon release, people identified as high risk for potential overdose, and people with family members who may benefit from treatment.

The Sheriff’s Office will also provide education and Naloxone kits in high-risk areas (identified using overdose mapping data) in partnership with public health staff, behavioral health staff, and nonprofits.  

Citizen advisory board appointments

Race Equity Advisory Council 

The board appointed eight members to its new Race Equity Advisory Council.

The council will advise the county board and staff on issues of racial equity, recommended actions to reduce racial disparities, and a community engagement plan. People chosen for the council have connections in local historically marginalized communities and expertise in at least one of the seven disparity domains that the county is trying to change: education, employment, income, health, housing, transportation and justice.

The board appointed eight members for at-large positions:

  • Biiftuu I Adam
  • Mahogany Ellis-Crutchfield
  • Deran L Cadotte
  • Mukul Nautiyal
  • Paul T Beshah
  • Tekia S Jefferson
  • Isaak O Rooble
  • Farhia A Mohamed

Additional appointments are expected at future board meetings.


Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District Board

The board appointed Dorothy Pedersen and Richard Ward to the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District Board.

Watershed districts educate and engage residents, and the work they undertake benefits the quality and quantity of water in local, as well as downstream watersheds and communities.  


Current and archival board meetings, agendas and minutes are available at

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at

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