Decatur releases draft of diversity action plan

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 4, 2015
Mattice Haynes helps lead the discussion during the Community Action Planning Cafe Conversation at Ebster Gym on Saturday.  Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Mattice Haynes helps lead the discussion during the Community Action Planning Cafe Conversation at Ebster Gym on Saturday.
Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Decatur’s consultant has released a full draft of a plan intended to help Decatur become a more diverse and welcoming place.

The plan was supposed to be released on Nov. 12, but the consultant – the Art of Community – instead released a list of more than 70 action items which were made available for public comment. The list of action items came from input at community meetings organized under the auspices of the city’s Better Together campaign.


The rest of the plan wasn’t available until Friday afternoon. City Commissioners will consider the plan at their Dec. 7 meeting.

The draft includes several appendices that contain responses to survey questions and other elements that went into creating the final draft. The draft does contain a list of steps that commissioners should take “immediately.”

They include:

– Establishing a Better Together Advisory Board

– Developing a means for addressing and receiving the concerns of community members related to issues of equity and inclusion

– Providing diversity training for city staff

– Providing resources for diversity training to community members

– Reviewing the city government’s structures and practices to ensure local government is equitable in its day-to-day practices

– Working with “a diverse group of citizen volunteers” to create a strategic, integrated citywide outreach plan to encourage more diversity on city boards, commissions and task forces

The plan cost $109,000. It has been almost two years in the making, sparked by allegations of racial profiling by police officers that were raised back in January of 2014. Former School Board member Don Denard said he had been profiled, and other black residents and visitors soon came forward with stories of their own experiences with police officers.

Decaturish is still looking through the drafts and appendices. Here are the documents provided by the city.

Better Together Community Action Plan Final ReportAppendix A. Implementation Plan Appendix B. Findings on the State of Diversity Appendix C. Community Survey Responses Appendix D. Community Conversation Electronic Polling Appendix E. Community Conversation Participant Guide Appendix F. Action Ideas from the Community Conversation Appendix G. Public Comment on Draft Action Items Appendix H. Examples of Relevant Work from the City of Decatur and Other Communities


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Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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