Kalamazoo commits $145K to “diversity assessment”

Following months of civil strife, Kalamazoo leaders are committing money to studying the problem of diversity, equity, and inclusion in city government.

Kalamazoo city leaders are exploring ways to ensure that city government is a place of racial justice and not of regressive power structures.

Toward that end, the city commission Monday night approved spending $145,330 to hire an independent firm to study the city’s systems.

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What It Is: The money will go to the Michigan Public Health Institute. They will conduct a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Assessment” on the City of Kalamazoo as an organization. That will include looking at the city’s equal opportunity hiring practices and other personnel decisions.

Dorla Bonner is the city’s diversity, equity, and inclusion director – a new position launched in 2020. She said the review is a necessary first step to making changes down the road.

“To achieve our goals in diversity, equity, inclusion we first have to understand where we are,” she said “We want our work to be focused and transformational, and we want equity to become ingrained into the culture of our organization so that our internal and community facing work and relationships will reflect that culture.”

You can read more on MLive.

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