After being effectively stalled for multiple years, efforts to focus Oak Park’s village government on racial equity moved forward last week with a detailed presentation by village staff and a warm reception from village trustees.
During an Aug. 30 village board meeting, Human Resources Director Kira Tchang presented a racial equity workplan, laying out steps already taken and what lies ahead, including the creation of a racial equity action plan and a recommendation to hire a racial equity manager to oversee efforts – to the general delight of the village board.
As described by Tchang, the racial equity action plan is “both a process and a product” designed to achieve “meaningful and measurable results” by establishing timelines, accountability and performance measures.
The plan “articulates a clear and bold vision” for racial equity that is informed by “community members of color who have been most impacted by structural and institutional racism.”
Other necessary requirements of a racial equity plan include equipping village staff with training, knowledge and tools to integrate equity into operations and the government as a whole.
With the racial equity action plan comes the “racial equity toolkit.” Also referred to by Tchang and the board as a “tool,” singular, the
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