Mayor's Task Force
Mayor’s Task Force on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion
As part of the City’s commitment of anti-racism, social justice, diversity, and inclusion, Mayor Hefty has created a task force to continue and extend solution-oriented activities.
“As your Mayor, I reject all forms of racism, discrimination and harassment of anyone and it is time for the City to take action. We need to work collaboratively with the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism, the Burlington Area School District, local businesses and residents alike to continue to keep Burlington a strong community that addresses what is before us. A united community, not a community that is split by various political beliefs”, Mayor Hefty stated.
An important element in the approach is explicit engagement with other leaders and stakeholders from the community to identify and explore: (1) challenges and concerns within the community and (2) ideas for addressing them, within the context of a process that is constructive, collaborative, and future-oriented. After interviewing four firms, the City hired Organization Development Consultants (ODC) to assist with this task force initiative.
The vision is to facilitate an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process with leaders within the City of Burlington (preliminarily, a group of approximately 24 individuals that Mayor Hefty identified). AI is a strengths-based, positive approach to organizational change. It can be used by individuals, teams, organizations, or at the societal level; in each case, it helps people move toward a shared vision for the future by engaging and including them in strategic innovation. AI is based on a “4-D” Model:
- Discovering. Appreciating the best of “what is” through discovering and valuing.
- Dreaming. Envisioning “what could be.”
- Designing. Engaging stakeholders for shared commitment to building an action plan.
- Destiny. Co-constructing the future with a focus on “what will be.”
The City of Burlington will realize the following benefits by completing this consultation including:
- Heightened clarity and understanding of the culture within the City of Burlington, including the artifacts and practices that define it.
- Elevated cognizance of the importance of interpersonal mechanisms for encouraging inclusion, diversity, and social justice.
- Greater understanding of the processes, methods, and approaches that must be pursued to continue to make gains in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
- A stronger foundation for providing leadership within the community by addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders.
The stakeholders had their first meeting at the end of May 2021.
After Action Report
The After Action Report summarizes the results of a facilitated discussion held on May 22, 2021 with leaders from the community of Burlington, Wisconsin regarding issues related to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within the community. Participants at the meeting included a diverse group of attendees, including students and adults from a variety of racial/ethnic, organizational, and community affiliations.