Resident-led Racial Equity Task Force seeks applicants
Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington residents are invited to apply for participation in a new resident-led task force being formed to help increase racial equity throughout the city of Bloomington. The Racial Equity Task Force is being established based on recommendations of the City’s Plan to Advance Racial Equity, accessible at the City’s website. This task force, dedicated to addressing broad issues of racism in the community and developing recommendations to address them, will comprise a broad selection of up to 15 residents. City residents interested in applying for a seat on the Racial Equity Task Force may complete this application by Monday, February 15 at midnight and will be notified of their selection by Tuesday, February 23.
The Racial Equity Task Force will be a resident-led, forward thinking, and future-focused body that will work to create a community environment that is accepting and appreciative of diversity, welcoming of all residents and visitors, and inclusive and equitable in the provision of services. Task Force members are being asked to make a two-year commitment and address the following goals (among additional goals and tasks they may identify in the course of the work):
1. Identify inequitable policies, practices, and protocols within City government;
2. Evaluate the disproportionate effect said policies and practices have on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous residents and visitors;
3. Present a set of recommendations to the City of Bloomington administration and City Council that lead to the development of a more equitable community.
The Racial Equity Task Force and the Racial Equity Plan that recommends it emerge from the work begun by a team of mediators engaged by the City in 2019 when issues surrounding racism led to the temporary suspension of the Bloomington Community Farmers Market. The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and its Divided Community Project (DCP)/Bridge Initiative helped address the community conflict by activating and channeling the community’s own resources and leadership. The Bridge Initiative’s December 2019 report shares observations about deep, systemic, and underlying problems of racism and other forms of discrimination in Bloomington and sets the stage for a long-term, community-based collaborative process for addressing them.
The team of eight City residents that developed the plan and designed the task force process was trained at the DCP’s Second National Academy in March 2020 to facilitate the development of a community-led process. The team will evaluate applications and notify task force members of their appointment by Tuesday, February 23. The group will also support the formation of a second task force, dedicated to the Future of Policing, to review policies, practices, and procedures through the lens of racial justice to create an optimal vision of law enforcement in the greater Bloomington community for the years ahead. The City of Bloomington will provide administrative support for both resident-led groups.