Gov. Tim Walz’s administration wants to open three new regional human rights offices in greater Minnesota, the governor said Thursday.
Walz told a conference on Islamophobia that the new offices — in Worthington, Bemidji and Duluth — are needed to expand the department’s reach to help Minnesotans facing discrimination.
Walz also said that he and First Lady Gwen Walz plan to hold what is believed to be the first iftar dinner at the governor’s residence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins May 5. The meal takes place after sundown on a traditional day of fasting during the month.
The killings of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, this month loomed large over Thursday’s event at Metropolitan State University, which was organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Walz brought up the August 2017 bombing of a Bloomington mosque and said the state “narrowly avoided tragedy on an unbelievable scale” that day.
“So I’m here today to deliver a pretty simple message: Hate and Islamophobia have no home in Minnesota,” Walz said. “But you do.”