Agendas and Minutes

Social Equity and Racial Justice Committee (View All)

Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission
January 13. 2022, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
View Recorded  Meeting 
1. Call to order: 5:03
Attendance: Yamaguchi, Gillis, Simon, Garrett, Muse, Elson, Williams, Choudhary, DuQuenne (council liaison), Seltzer (staff liaison)
Absent: Cowden, Jenkins
2. Welcome and introduction Anne Cowden: Delayed to the February meeting due to technical difficulties.
3. Approval of Minutes:
Motion: Elson/Yamaguchi moved approval of the minutes as presented.  Motion passes.
4. Public Input: None
5. Reiterate the importance of commission members attendance and the importance of a quorum moving forward.
Muse acknowledged that people have been sick, caring for others, experiencing family losses and more and that is important to show grace towards one another during this challenging time.  If at there is not a quorum it will be rescheduled.
6. Discuss the February report to the City Council.
Simon and Muse will review the draft statement and provide the draft report to the full commission for discussion at the February 3 meeting.  The final report must be complete by February 9.
7. Discussion of SERJ participation in selected annual holidays.
Yamaguchi thinks the SERJ commission should participate in selected annual events held in the area.  She suggested the commission participate in some capacity in the Pride Parade in the fall.  She will work with Gillis and Elson to develop ideas on how the commission can participate.
8. Discuss EDI considerations, knowledge and background as we move forward with recommendations for the City with respect to the DEI work.
Muse spoke about DEI:  the structure and placement of a DEI manager within an organization, the recognition that DEI is beyond race and includes accessibility issues. The report to the council must include all the facets of diversity including race, accessibility, socio economics and more.
9. Request the City Manager attend an upcoming SERJ meeting.
DuQuenne has met with the City Manager who has agreed to attend a future meeting.  The group agreed his attendance at the March meeting would be appropriate.  A list of questions will be prepared and given to him in advance.
11: Council Liaison
DuQuenne expressed enthusiasm for the SERJ report to the City council in February and that the council is looking for ward to. She also expressed her support for the efforts of the commission.
12. Simon led a brief discussion about the invitations from other organization to meet and possibly to collaborate on DEI work.
Gillis explained that she has applied to be participate in the Women’s Leadership Conference in May to explain the work of the commission and draw attention to the importance of diversity and equity in the region.  She has not yet received a response to the application.
Marta Tarantsey, chair of the City of Medford’s Commission for Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has reached out the SERJ and asks to meet with SERJ to brainstorm on how the two groups could further their respective work.
Deloris Nims and Judy Voruz on the Interfaith Council wish to speak to the commission about creating a forum to educate and discuss institutional oppression of marginalized groups in our community. 
Yamaguchi offered to take on the work of interacting with these groups. In addition, DuQuenne suggested the groups be invited to speak to SERJ during public input.  Seltzer will invite interested individuals to attend SERJ meetings and speak during public input.
Muse received a request to meet with the Rosa Parks Group to discuss how SERJ can participate in the celebration in early February.  She will meet with them next week and provide details to SERJ after that meeting.
9. Council Liaison Update
DuQueene updated SERJ on Dr. Martin Luther King birthday celebration on Monday. January 17 at 12:30. Seltzer will post the information on the city’s website.
Meeting adjourned at 6:25.

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