For more than 20 years, Thelma McKenzie served on the Roseville Human Rights Commission, making her one of its rock-solid contributors.
The Roseville City Council late last month awarded McKenzie a plaque, honoring her for her volunteer service. She has been on-and-off the commission since 1981 but recently had to resign because she moved out of the city to take residence in neighboring Shoreview.
At one point, McKenzie said she served on the commission 11 consecutive years.
"It's been a good run," McKenzie recently told Roseville Patch. "There have been good people and lots of opportunties."
Among McKenzie's accomplishments on the commission was helping it launch a student human rights essay contest and getting youth representatives on the board. She also played a role in setting up educational forums and helping the city establish a liaison with the operations manager at Rosedale Center.
Through the years, McKenzie has been also involved in other endeavors such as the board of the St. Paul YWCA and the Cross of Nails peace organization.
A paralegal for a Minneapolis law firm, McKenzie said she has enjoyed learning about city government by being on the commission. "You learn why decisions are made," she said.
A native of Panama, McKenzie said the Human Rights Comission "is here for all of the citizens," helping to foster education and awareness on a variety of issues.