Agendas and Minutes

Social Equity and Racial Justice Committee (View All)

Social Justice and Racial Justice Commission

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission


November 3, 2022, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Remote Meeting via Zoom
1. Call to order: 5:00

Attendance: Gillis, Simon, Decker, Williams, Yamaguchi, Santiago, DuQuenne (council liaison) Seltzer (staff liaison)

Absent: Choudhary

Guests: City Manager Joe Lessard, Police Chief Tighe O'Meara

2. Approval of Minutes of October 6, 2022 
M/S Yamaguchi/Gillis moved to approve minutes of the October meetings. Motion passed unanimously.

3. Public Input: None

4 Member Recruitment Update (Yamaguchi)
Yamaguchi gave an update on her efforts to recruit new members.

5. Sou President Rick Bailey (Yamaguchi)
Yamaguchi welcomed and introduced Bailey.

Baily gave an overview of SOU EDI work and noted that VP of DEI Toya Cooper, is the leader and guide in initiating programs to advance DEI within the SOU family and reaching and welcoming marginalized people.

Williams asked how SOU is addressing cultural sensitivity and noted the challenges of cultural sensitivity at Ashland Middle School.  Bailey commented that management recently participated in a course that addressed micro aggressions and learning to be in tune to marginalized peoples.  SOU recently restructured student orientations to try to ensure it is welcoming to all.  Decker asked about the placement of teachers of color at SOU.  Bailey noted it is a good initiative and he will follow up with their new division director and pose the same questions.

Baily asked how SOU can partner with SERJAC.  Simon encouraged Bailey to use his voice and public persona to include DEI at every opportunity.

6. Simon welcomed City Manager Joe Lessard and Police Chief Tighe O’Meara and asked for an update on the threats to Nataki Garret.  O’Meara has met with OSF officials, and all parties have agreed to meet monthly in order to move forward and get as much information as possible and to strengthen the community relationship between the police department, and OSF. 

Lessard explained the request for proposal (RFP) for consultant(s) to conduct an internal DEI assessment will be posted on December 1.  He encouraged SERJAC members to email suggestions and comments of the scope of work to Seltzer.

Lessard discussed the notion of a welcoming program and invites SERJAC to brainstorm ideas on what that type of program might look like.  He and Yamaguchi will meet later to discuss and provide an update at the December meeting.

Meeting adjourned: 6:35 p.m.

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