The Crow Wing County Human Rights Commission last week chose Jan Kurtz of Fort Ripley to receive the panel's second annual Crow Wing County Human Rights Award. It was a good choice and one that reminds us that it's a big world out there and resourceful people will open their minds to change.
The commission will honor the Central Lakes College instructor at noon Monday at the Crow Wing County Courthouse. She's known for her volunteer efforts in promoting cultural diversity and helping students learn foreign language and culture. In addition, Kurtz also helps establish connections for Spanish-speaking residents of the county and works with United Church of Christ soup kitchen volunteers.
Outstate Minnesota counties, such as Crow Wing, may still be stereotyped as the home for plenty of "Ole and Lena" types, but our population is slowly becoming more diverse. Not everyone in this county is Scandinavian or German. Recognizing the changing face of central Minnesota and working to capitalize on the best qualities of all the ethnic groups in our area is one of the challenges we face.
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