Candidates vying for the director position at Fort Worth’s newly-created Diversity and Inclusion Department will face each other and the citizens at a public forum next week.
The forum takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Morningside Elementary School, 2601 Evans Ave.
The new department morphed from the Human Relations Unit of the City Manager’s Office, following a recommendation made by the city’s Race and Culture Task Force, which are initially created in 2017.
Approved in November 2018, the recommendations were made with an aim to promote inclusiveness within and for Fort Worth residents.
The restructuring and creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Department fell under the task force’s governance recommendation.
“There might also exist a reluctance/resistance from City Council, City management, and City employees to implementing changes that promote diversity. i.e., using an ‘equity lens’ to develop the City budget and investment strategies using CIP funding,” the task force had stated in its final report. “There will be those that consider such an approach as a ‘Robin Hood’ approach.”
Upon appointment, the new director will oversee the Diversity and Inclusion Department responsible for coordinating the implementation of the task force’s recommendations and promoting equity in the provision of all municipal services.
The department also enforces various civil rights laws, promotes cultural awareness and provides staff support for the Human Relations Commission.
According to the task force’s report, the creation and implementation of the new department would require $205,354 from the general fund. It includes about $17,000 increase in salary and benefits for the new director, after reclassifying it from the prior Human Relations Unit administrator position.
The Oct. 28 public forum will be moderated by the former co-chairs of the task force, namely: Lillie Biggins, Rabbi Andrew Bloom, Rosa Navejar and Bob Ray Sanders.
Candidate profiles courtesy of City of Fort Worth.