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Group releases details for rally to promote diversity

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BEMIDJI - Shared Vision plans a community rally from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Beltrami County Courthouse Pavilion.

The event will highlight the importance of the community to condemn race-based crimes and address what can be done to move forward, promoting diversity and anti-racism in northern Minnesota.

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According to a Shared Vision news release, the event, "Moving Forward: Rally against Racism" highlights why it's important as a community to condemn the "cross burning" and to address what we can do to move forward and promote diversity and anti-racism in northern Minnesota.

John Gonzalez, a psychology professor at Bemidji State University, will be the keynote speaker. Gonzalez has a background in multicultural research methods and statistics.

"We are hoping all residents who have concern about this issue will consider participating in this rally," Cory Cochran, the event's organizer, said in a news release. "We are asking elected officials from Bemidji as well as White Earth, Red Lake and Leech Lake to speak for two to 10 minutes at this event. We are encouraging speakers to focus on moving forward, what we can do in the Bemidji area to promote a climate of support for difference, uniqueness and ethnically diverse peoples."

Shared Vision said it would like a united presence at the rally to send a message that Bemidji and Beltrami County citizens do not accept intimation, hate and violence in their community.

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