Diversity advocates draft proposal for new Bristol committee

Posted 1/14/21

A group of Bristol residents advocating for the creation of a new “Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” have completed their initial phase of work and outlined both the mission …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Diversity advocates draft proposal for new Bristol committee

Posted

A group of Bristol residents advocating for the creation of a new “Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” have completed their initial phase of work and outlined both the mission statement and parameters for the group they would like to form.

Rob Hancock is serving as unofficial spokesman for a team that has grown to 16 people, all hoping to get Bristol Town Council endorsement for their initiative. After getting a stamp of approval from the town’s solicitor, they’ve submitted that request to the council for its Jan. 20 meeting.

As outlined in their proposal, the new diversity committee would be an official town body working to ensure Bristol is a “diverse, welcoming and inclusive community,” including those who experience discrimination due to their “race, ethnicity, national origin, religious beliefs, gender identity, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.”

They suggest two primary roles for the group, which would have an odd number of between 9 and 15 residents, all appointed by the council, who “must possess relevant knowledge, training, or life experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.”

The group’s first role would be public-facing, to create the diverse, welcoming community they envision. This could include collaboration with public and private organizations to promote programs, festivals or other events that highlight and celebrate Bristol’s diversity.

They also want to work to “promote both existing and new opportunities to address and understand Bristol's role in the fate of Indigenous people in New England and the trading of Enslaved people in America.” And they would like to “amplify underrepresented voices and promote them through information sharing equitable access to existing resources, programs, and opportunities for all residents.”

Their second role would be advisory, if called upon, to elected bodies in the town of Bristol. They would like to advise the council on policies, procedures and programs within the town’s purview, and offer training or education to town departments and employees.

They would also like representation on the committee from people in social services, education (including students), the library, health, housing and public safety.

Following is the proposal sent to the Bristol Town Council:

Proposed Mission Statement, Charge, and Composition

Bristol Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

MISSION

The Bristol Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion works to promote, foster, and

celebrate Bristol as a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community for people to live, work,

learn and visit, including those who experience discrimination or marginalization due to their

race, ethnicity, national origin, religious beliefs, gender identity, disability, age, sexual

orientation, or socioeconomic status.

CHARGE

The Bristol Town Council charges the Bristol Committee on Diversity Equity and Inclusion with

assisting the Council in creating opportunities and assisting in identifying and addressing

matters at the local level. The committee primarily takes the following two approaches to

advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in Bristol.

1. Promote, support, nurture, and celebrate a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community:

● Collaborate with public and private organizations in town to expand and promote

opportunities for programs, festivals, events, activities, and civic engagement that

highlight and celebrate Bristol's diversity. Include opportunities that highlight

underrepresented groups within the community.

● Support and promote both existing and new opportunities to address and understand

Bristol's role in the fate of Indigenous people in New England and the trading of

Enslaved people in America.

● Help create opportunities for difficult conversations that support learning and

understanding among community members.

● Foster a welcoming and aware community by creating networks, conducting outreach,

and establishing platforms to amplify underrepresented voices and promote them through

information sharing equitable access to existing resources, programs, and opportunities

for all residents.

2. Upon request by an elected official, provide advice on inclusive and equitable policies and

initiatives, to include but not limited to:

● Creating accessible and transparent processes for assessing and gauging the needs

and interests of the community concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion.

● Identifying education/training opportunities and resources for Town officials and staff

to help eliminate unconscious or implicit bias in programs, policies, and actions.

● Reviewing existing policies or drafting new procedures to ensure that all who live in,

work in, learn in, or visit Bristol feel welcome and included here.

COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

The Town Council will name a committee which shall consist of an odd number of members

between 9 and 15 residents, who will elect a Chair and a Vice-Chair. Committee members must

possess relevant knowledge, training, or life experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion

issues. Members should be committed to thoughtful and constructive dialogue. All committee

members shall serve an initial term of one year.

The committee shall ideally include some members from organizations within the community

such as those involved in social services, education (including students), library, health,

housing, public safety.

Residents interested in participating shall submit an application outlining their interest and

qualifications for consideration by the Council.

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.