City of Jackson moves forward with racial equity efforts


There’s a new city commission, and department in Jackson. The focus? To help create diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the city.

The group will help evaluate old, and new city policies, and programming.

Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies believes this new team will help groups that have been historically left behind.

“This is your city too,” said Dobies.

Mayor Dobies says, that while he believes the city is making significantly progress, there are several issues that need to be looked at more closely. 

“Barriers to employment, barriers to housing, barriers to different opportunities that have existed for a variety of different populations,” said Mayor Dobies.

Lifelong Jackson resident, and Chief Equity Officer for the city, John Willis will lead the team. He says, the first step will be getting input from the community on which specific areas need to be looked at.

“We want to set up a couple of goals, and some initiatives. What are a couple of immediate things that we can start to address that we can make those initiatives from the community?”

Leaders say housing is a key concern, including disproportionate home ownership among groups, but they stress this in not just about race.

“We are going to fight for you. We will stand up for you, and continue to make sure that you’re included in the work that we are doing, and included in the future city that we are working to build,” said Mayor Dobies. 

Applications to join the team as a community leader can be found online on the city’s website.

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