Department of Civil Rights

Velma J. Korbel, Director

350 S. 5th St., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: (612) 673-3012
Fax: (612) 673-2599
TTY: (612) 673-2157

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday


Urban Scholars was developed by the Equity Division of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. This division was established to address racial disparities in employment as a result of the 2011 Economic Policy Institute report that said the Minneapolis region has the worst employment disparity between whites and non-whites in the nation. This sobering fact resonated with elected officials and department leadership especially considering that the population of Minneapolis is over 40% people of color.

In the summer of 2012, the City Council passed Resolution 2012R-456: Supporting Employment Equity in Minneapolis and the Region that declared institutional racism as a critical factor in the disparities. The resolution stated that the City would lead by example to increase racial equity in employment in Minneapolis and the region. As champions of this commitment, the Equity Division has shaped its work around the resolution and created objectives including empowering leaders of tomorrow; the motivation behind Urban Scholars.   

The desire to address racial disparities played a significant role in the history and creation of the Urban Scholars program. Therefore, a strong component to the program is creating cohorts of future leaders committed to equity. Bringing an equity lens to the workplace looks different for each Urban Scholar as all Scholars come to the program with varied experiences with social justice. The program strives to support an atmosphere of learning and growth around the topics of power, privilege, and, oppression.

Urban Scholars Group Photo 2012Urban Scholars Group Photo 2013Urban Scholars Group Photo 2014Urban Scholars Group Photo 2015Urban Scholars Group Photo 2016

Last updated Dec 14, 2017



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For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 


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