Background: At the City Council meeting on June 15, Councilors DuQuenne and Graham provided the following workplan to guide the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission for the next six months.
Workplan Guidance for Social Equity and Racial Justice Coalition
In order to provide the new commission with both direction and flexibility, the Ashland City Council has identified the following task areas for the commission to focus on initially:
1. Work with community partners to develop a joint training, incident response, and community acknowledgement program that help residents and business owners address the long-term, systemic root causes of inequality and racial injustice and celebrate progress. The goal is to make it easier for residents and businesses to access training, acknowledge those who are taking positive action, and provide a response program so that people have somewhere to go for help if they have a negative experience.
2. Work with Southern Oregon University to conduct a research project on the actions that have been undertaken by the City of Ashland and other community anchor institutions that have directly targeted and impacted residents of marginalized groups (positively or negatively). This project will allow us to fully understand and teach our local history while influencing future decisions regarding which historical figures to raise up with public art, naming of facilities, etc. It can also influence other decisions that might be taken to make amends for actions taken by community leaders in the past. This commission might develop recommendations for such restorative action in the future
3. Review and provide feedback on the City’s efforts to integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into its human resources policies and procedures and to provide training on these issues, as well as cultural competency and implicit bias, for the council and staff.Review and provide feedback to the City on master planning efforts underway now and in the future related to how those plans impact our ability to reach our social equity and racial justice goals.Identifying these initial focus areas will allow the Commission to move immediately to take action on social equity and racial justice in ways that assist the City with its current goals, while providing the flexibility that all commissions have to propose to Council the elements of their upcoming workplans. Note: Staff provides periodic updates to the City Council on internal efforts to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion. Click here to view the most recent update. Social Equity and Racial Justice Statement Tracking Sheet.
Council invites the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission to return to Council in six months with their progress toward these initial focus points, their recommendations regarding the future priority of these and other projects, and their proposed workplan for the following twelve months. Our goal is to provide the Commission with enough direction to focus its initial efforts while maintaining its ability to identify and work to address other issues of social equity and/or racial justice concern it deems important and worthy of commission action, as all other commissions do.