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Over the course of the last year I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on how this role could positively impact the city.
It is with a grateful heart that I send my thanks to those of you who advocated for the implementation of the Full Time Human Relations Officer for the City of Hutchinson! it is not unnoticed that there are so many people in this community that see the value of the work I have had the pleasure to do, for that I am humbled.
Over the course of the last year I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on how this role could positively impact the city. I have conducted lots of conversations with community leaders and everyday residents, that have all shared the same sentiment that they want Hutchinson to be a place where people can feel welcome.
Many of these conversations included the importance of increasing diversity in workforce, housing, retail and other places where people can participate in a manner that gives them the opportunity to have a positive future in Hutchinson. Several messages were shared about the importance of having people of color in leadership.
While engaging with residents from communities of color, I was able to further ascertain the overwhelming sense of exclusion they felt within the community at times. Quotes like “we know we aren’t welcome there” and “I don’t participate in the community because I don’t like being the only one” these are all too common messages that Hutchinson residents share.
Through my investigations I have had one case after another of covert discrimination, bias treatment and unfair practices that have become the norm for persons in underrepresented communities. Often times, residents shared their discontent for fair and just outcomes when they have spoken up about issues that include racism and bias acts. So much so, that they would just ignore the behavior or accept the idea that unfair treatment for them was the cost of living in the community. I say, that should NOT be the sentiment of our community members.
In the time that I have held the part time contract position I have collected well over 40 formal and informal complaints. Many complaints were matters that did not have a clear resolution and required continuous advocacy effort to help the complainant get through. And of those complaints I realized that it would take more than repercussion but a reframing of the system in which people have called community.
Because of your advocacy for the Human Relations Officer you have in fact stated that Hutchinson can “Be the Difference”. You have committed to doing your part to assist in Inclusive practices and you have committed to speaking out against things that go against exclusionary tactics. And I thank you for your voice, and your presence! Further I am excited to have the opportunity to help navigate this work alongside so many others that have the same hope for “A Positive Future” of Hutchinson.
Let’s get to work!
Regards,Datjaeda MooreHuman Relations Officer