Commitment To Racial Equity
On June 8, 2020, Ferndale City Council unanimously passed a Declaration of Commitment to Antiracism. In it, they identified the institution of racism as a critical public health problem, declared that racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and committed to setting several new actions and priorities, including:
- Making a proclamation that on June 19, 2020, and each anniversary thereafter, the City would celebrate “Juneteenth,” in recognition that on June 19, 1865, emancipation finally reached the last confederate state – more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law
- Promoting racial equity through all policies approved by City Council
- Enhancing educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing, and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development, and public safety
- Committing the Human Resources Department to review recruiting, hiring, retention, and support policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion among city staff
- Committing the City Manager’s Office, with participation from other departments as necessary, to study and develop a Racial Equity Policy
- Committing the City Manager’s Office, with participation from other departments as necessary, to research and make recommendations to Council for creating a community advisory board
Through research with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, the City of Ferndale has adopted a three-pronged approach to assist in advancing racial equity within the Ferndale organization and community:
1. Racial Equity Action Team - created in August of 2021, the Racial Equity Action Team is the internal body that brings all of the information regarding equity together from all sources within the City. The Racial Equity Action Team is ultimately responsible for designing, coordinating, and organizing racial equity plans and activities across the City to effect an equitable systems change. We incorporate comments, information, and ideas from our community, internal departments, and from other stakeholders to create cohesive documents, policies, procedures, and recommended interventions that provide direction in our pursuit toward achieving racial equity within the City.
2. Facilitated Community Meetings - An opportunity for the City to learn about the real experiences, challenges, and perspectives from members of the community. These meetings are professionally moderated and facilitated.
3. Creating Departmental Champions - The integration of equity into City departments via gained new information, tools, and research.