Omaha Human Rights and Relations director to retire

Dr. Franklin Thompson has held the HRR position since 2017.
Dr. Franklin Thompson
Dr. Franklin Thompson(University of Nebraska-Omaha)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:03 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The city’s Human Rights and Relations Director is retiring.

Appointed to the post by Mayor Jean Stothert in 2017, Dr. Franklin Thompson is also an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, teaching multicultural education and race relations, among other subjects; and researching topics including at-risk youth, urban education and poverty, resiliency, and counseling.

His last day will be Friday, July 29.

“Dr. Thompson’s unique expertise in human relations, race relations, multicultural education, and counseling has been very beneficial,” Stothert said in a news release Friday. “I am grateful for his friendship and his service to our city.”

Gerald Kuhn, assistant human rights and relations director, has been appointed to the position temporarily while the city conducts a national search to fill the post permanently.

According to the release: “The Human Rights and Relations Department (HRR) investigates discrimination complaints and civil rights violations, conducts community outreach to promote diversity, administers the certification process for the Small and Emerging Business program, and monitors city contracts for compliance with the City’s economic inclusion requirements. The HRR Department is a partner in the Restorative Justice program, a misdemeanor diversion program created in 2021.”

After earning an annual salary of $151,507, Thompson’s estimated pension will be $5,450 monthly.

Thompson has also served on the Omaha City Council, representing Dist. 6 in 2001. He has been a member of UNO’s faculty since 1993, and has plans to focus on teaching as well as promoting his new autobiography, “Confessions of a Murphy’s Child,” to be published in September.

Department mission statement

“The Human Rights and Relations Department has four major responsibilities for the City of Omaha: Civil Rights Investigations and Enforcement Support Services, Economic Equity and Inclusion and Program Administration, Community Outreach and Education, and a Restorative Justice Program for people who commit misdemeanor offenses.

The department is primarily responsible for the investigation, elimination, and prevention of all forms of socioeconomic disparities and prohibited discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodation, and contracting based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, class or any other form of discrimination prescribed by ordinance or resolution. Other services to the community are provided at the discretion of the Mayor and the Director of the Department.

Towards its goal of ensuring equal opportunity and equitable access to those opportunities for all citizens of the city, this department additionally oversees the operation of two appointed boards: the Human Rights and Relations Board and the Civil Rights Hearing Board.”

City of Omaha Human Rights and Relations

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