Agendas and Minutes

Social Equity and Racial Justice Advisory Committee (View All)

Social Justice and Racial Justice Advisory Committee

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Social Equity and Racial Justice Committee

September 7, at 5:00 p.m.
Due to a lack of a quorum this meeting was held for informational purposes only.

Remote Meeting via Zoom 

1. Yamaguchi called the meeting to order at 5:00

Attendance: Yamaguchi, Simon, Geraghty, Seltzer (staff liaison), 
DuQuenne (council liaison),

Absent: Santiago

Guests: Hilary Larson, Wendy Leighton, Allyson Phelps

2. Yamaguchi read the Land Acknowledgment and Houston read the Labor Acknowledgment 

3.Simon welcomed Houston and the participants introduced themselves. 

4. Geraghty reported on her efforts to research racism in Ashland and intends to reach out to local historian Jeff LeLande and visit the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  She referenced the Mayor’s direction to the committee at the June meeting asking SERJ to do this research. She will have more information at the October meeting. 

5. Hillary Larson from Ashland Together informed the group that Kristan Tegan from Portland State University will conduct a five-week training course on the history of racism in Oregon.  The online course will take place every Thursday evening beginning October 19 at 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The cost is $90 per person.  Larson will send more information as the date gets closer. She hopes that the City Council will participate.

Larson also spoke of the program Table for Twelve.  The Oregon Community Foundation is offering $5000 grants to organizations that host a gathering for participants that would not normally gather.  The money pays for three or four meals and a facilitator.  There are three grants available.  Must apply before November 1.
6. Pride Parade: Yamaguchi, Geraghty and Simon will march in the parade.  Yamaguchi will follow up with Santiago.  Former SERJ members will be invited to march with the group. SERJ members will carry a banner.  Seltzer will order Pride flags. 

7. Indigenous People’s Day:  Yamaguchi noted that SOU is planning this event 11:00 – 4:00 on Monday, October 9 in the courtyard at SOU. There will be a Salmon Bake ($8 per person), children’s activity center, parking is free at SOU lot #36.  Yamaguchi will send a volunteer form for SERJ members. 

8. Review of annual goals Yamaguchi gave a brief recap of the SERJ annual report to the City Council and re-stated the goals that were identified at the June meeting and included in the report. 

9. Update from participants and Council and Staff Liaisons: 
  • Houston shared an event that OSF is working on.Youth have been invited from throughout the valley to see RENT and to walk in the Pride Parade. OSF parade buddies have been assigned to each youth participant. Different youth groups have been invited to participate in a youth resource fair during the day and to highlight show what they do to support youth in the valley.The event is on Saturday, October 7 from 2:00 until 7:30.
  • DuQuenne provided more information about Pride activities.  There will be a kickoff event at Pascall wineries on Thursday. There will be approximately 25 vendors at the bandshell post parade on Saturday and a brunch at Brickroom on Sunday.
  • DuQueene thinks the Labor Acknowledgement was well received and will continue to get receive council’s attention.  She also suggests to remove the word reparation from the goal.  She asks that the American flag be placed on Siskiyou Blvd. She wants SERJ to encourage the Kiwanis to send a reminder to nfly the flags. Exellant and will continue to be continue to
  • Seltzer noted that SERJ needs to start talking bout how they will help with MLK celebration. DuQueene will email Yamaguchi and Simon the status of MLK at this point in order to determine how SERJ can be involved.
10. Recruitment Yamaguchi asked people to let her know if there are people who would be willing to serve.

SERJ Goals
  • Research what the City of Ashland has done to help and interfere with civil rights of different groups of people (Black, Indigenous, Chinese, etc.). This research will be the starting point for identifying what the City of Ashland can put in place to address the actions by the body in the past - and to celebrate good work that has been done.
  • Work with local partners (Chamber of Commerce, etc.) to develop a DEI training program for local businesses and their staff so that Ashland can move forward in its goal to be authentically welcoming to all people. 
  • Assist the City in public support activities for SERJ related holidays and community events. This includes helping the City identify which events to participate in and recommending ways in which to participate in these holidays and events.
  • Support efforts within the City's operations to train staff and ensure that our internal practices and protocols help us move forward with our DEI goals.

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