Hopkins Race & Equity Initiative

About the Hopkins Race & Equity Initiative

The Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative (HREI) is a collaborative effort creating opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of race, equity and diversity and promoting a sense of community that welcomes and values all residents. Partnering organizations include:

  • The City of Hopkins
  • The Gethsemane Lutheran Church
  • The Hopkins Public Schools
  • The Police Department

Read more about Race Equity in Hopkins.


  • Alex Fisher: Director of Community Education and Engagement, Hopkins Public Schools 
  • Ari Lenz: Assistant City Manager, City of Hopkins 
  • Bill Wells: Diversity Equity and Inclusion Consultant
  • Brent Johnson: Chief, Hopkins Police Department
  • Donna Anderson: Gethsemane Church
  • Dre Jefferson: Facilities Use Coordinator, Hopkins Public Schools 
  • Erik Husevold: Captain, Hopkins Police Department
  • Pastor John Nelson: Gethsemane Church
  • Jaleeza Smith-Breedlove: Assistant Director Youth Programs, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Julia Ross: Joint Community Police Program Community Liaison, Hopkins Police Department
  • Kersten Elverum: Director of Economic Development and Planning City of Hopkins
  • Maria Bearre-Boynne: Restorative Justice, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Naimo Osman: Deputy City Clerk, City of Hopkins
  • PeggySue Imihy Bean: Special Projects and Initiatives Manager, City of Hopkins
  • Stanley Brown: Equity and Inclusion Director, Hopkins Public Schools

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Restorative Practices and Justice - What Is It and How Does It Work?

Wednesday, October 25
6 to 8 p.m.
Eisenhower Community Center Cafeteria

View the flyer (PDF)

Previous Event Recordings

Our videos can be found on our Facebook Page or Youtube Channel

Town Hall - Voter Suppression and Ballot Security

October 19, 2022

Panelists included: 

  • Cheryl Youakim, DFL State Representative Hopkins & St. Louis Park (46B)
  • Emma Greenman, DFL State Representative Minneapolis & Richfield (63B)
  • David Maeda, Director of Elections, Office of Minnesota Secretary of State

Moderated by Rick Rexroth, Hopkins High School History/Social Studies Teacher

Race & Education: Dynamics and Social Impact (PDF)

May 24, 2021 
Keynote Speaker Sondra Samuels presents on the impact of racial disparities on education, followed by a question and answer session moderated by Diversity and Inclusion consultant Bill Wells. 

A Community Conversation on Race and Housing

The discussion covered topics including:

  • The POWER of the renter
  • Building a racially inclusive community
  • Working toward housing stability
  • The impacts of housing disparities on our community

Panelists included: 

  • Curt Boganey - Former Brooklyn Center City Manager
  • Nelima Sitati Munene - Executive Director, African Career Education and Resource Inc (ACER)
  • Derwin George, Realtor, Edina Realty

HREI Town Hall Forum: Community Policing Today

February 18, 2021
A virtual conversation on policing in our local communities, featuring a panelist discussion moderated by Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Bill Wells. Panelists included: 

  • Brent Johnson, Hopkins Police Chief
  • Mike Harcey, St. Louis Park Police Chief
  • Scott Boerboom, Minnetonka Police Chief

HREI Presents Jim Crow of the North

September 9, 2020
A special screening and discussion of the TPT documentary, "Jim Crow of the North," revealing the history and impact of racist real estate covenants in the Twin Cities Metro Area. The conversation also included discussion on the future and affordable housing. Panel discussion moderated by Bill Wells featuring: 

  • Dan Bergin, Producer, Jim Crow of the North;
  • Dr. Kirsten Delegard, Project Director, Mapping Prejudice Project;
  • Kersten Elverum, Director of Planning & Economic Development City of Hopkins

Racial Disparities: [Not] In my Neighborhood?! 

June 29, 2020
Join the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative for a virtual conversation on racial dispartities in West Metro neighborhoods, featuring a panelist discussion moderated by Bill Wells. Panelists include: 

  • Al Nuness, Para Professional and Director, Invictus Leadership Group
  • Bishop David E. Johnson, Senior Pastor, Grace Apostolic Church
  • Kissy Coakley, City Council Member, City of Minnetonka
  • Dr. Kirsten Delegard, Director/Co-Founder, Mapping Prejudice Project
  • Julia Ross, Joint Community Police Partnership, Hopkins Police Department
  • Astein K. Osei, Superintendent, St. Louis Park Public Schools

Partner hosted Events

Gethsemane Lutheran Church is hosting their Summer Town Hall Forums, one of which is hosted by Bill Wells, title "What Racism Costs Everyone and How We can Prosper Together" on July 26 - Flier (PDF)

Give the Gift of a Better Community

For the past five years, various leaders from the Hopkins city, school and faith community have volunteered their time to bring to life the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative. They have taken on the challenging and delicate work of bringing our community together to learn and listen so that we can have honest and caring conversations around the issues of race and equity.

Hundreds of people have come together to learn why it is so hard to talk about race. To hear perspectives on white privilege, racial profiling, and the racism many people still face today.  

We are inviting you to join with us in supporting the work of building a better community, bringing more people together, and moving the needle to eradicate systemic racism in our institutions, our schools, our city and our community. This happens one conversation at a time.

All donations are managed by the City of Hopkins and are tax exempt. We greatly appreciate you partnership and your support.

To donate, please fill out the Hopkins Race & Equity Initiative Donation Form.

Sign up for updates

To receive updates about the Hopkins Race and Initiative, please sign up for updates.

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Grants Awarded

The Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative recently awarded seven micro grants to fund programs designed to engage Hopkins students and community members in projects and activities that align with the initiative’s purpose and goals.

 More information about the awards is available here.