Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

We need to put our money where our values are and fund programs that reverse existing inequities, with particular focus on young people and their families.

DEI means we make a conscious effort to reduce barriers to entry and hire folks who represent the depth and diversity of our community, especially emergency responders and other folks who interface with the public. It also means reducing barriers to services for our BIPOC, LGBTQ, eldery, and differently-abled communities.

For me, achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion is a mission--not a mantra. It should be ingrained in the organizational culture of City Hall, from internal hiring to external customer service. We need to continually promote Lansing as a “welcoming community,” and repeat our commitment to ending discrimination and protecting human rights.

It starts by leading the way with a diverse cabinet and staff who have a deep understanding of and commitment to inclusion and equity.

 

We will never accomplish systemic DEI by appointing only middle and upper-middle class members of traditionally marginalized communities to speak on behalf of those most affected by inequity within those communities. Nor does it mean insulating the process from public scrutiny or requiring appointees to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

MRJEA is Mayor Schor’s racial equity “Task Force”. Every person sitting on that task force is middle to upper middle class.  The members of this task force do not accurately represent the socio-economic demographic of this city. Even though the task force is racially diverse, it lacks representative voices from everyone within our community.  Interactions and experiences with police vary not only along racial lines, but also among economic demographics.  

 

This study and “task force” are focused primarily on external factors like homelessness and food inequality when the true root problem and impetus for this task force was the accusations that Mayor Schor was facing within city government, specifically the mayor’s office and the LPD.
 

The task force conducted an online survey with no parameters for participation, which left them with responses from people completely unqualified to speak on racism, inequity and mistreatment by police:

  • Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the people who answered don’t even live in the city of Lansing. 

  • 75% of the people who answered were white

  • 76% are homeowners

  • 41% have Bachelor's Degrees 

This is not the ideal demographic to increase our knowledge of the impact of racism. In fact, when respondents were asked if they were treated fairly by LPD, 58% had NO INTERACTIONS with LPD!  We all have a role to play in dismantling structural inequity.

There isn’t one thing in the report created by this task force that wasn’t known before.  And if the Mayor wasn’t aware of the information in this report, that’s very telling about his knowledge of the issues of inequity and equality.