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Scott Wopata Community Action Center

Wopota receives Northfield Humanitarian Award

January 16, 2024

The Northfield Human Rights Commission held its annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Emmaus Church last night.

The theme of the event was “Shifting the cultural climate through the study and practice of nonviolence.” Carleton College Chaplain Schuyler Vogel gave the keynote address, discussing the role civil disobedience plays in our society, and his belief that attitudes toward activists and activism need to change.

The event also serves as the platform for the annual announcement of the recipient of Northfield’s Human Rights Award. This year’s recipient is Scott Wopata, who is the Executive Director of Community Action Center. In presenting the award, Human Rights Commision Chair Adam Wale noted that Wopata was the driving force behind the Hillcrest Village housing development. The project, which was years in the planning and building, was finished last year and has received rave reviews across the country. Incorporating environmentally friendly building practices and features that give it a zero-carbon footprint, Hillcrest Village offers affordable housing, transitional housing, and emergency housing to those in need. Wopata was honored, in part, for showing that the issues of climate and housing can be addressed at the same time.

Characteristically Wopata was humble in his acceptance, thanking the members of the community for their trust and caring.

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