Schor announces completion of racial justice and equity report


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Alongside members of the Mayor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance (MRJEA) to announce that the Racial Justice and Equity report on the City of Lansing has been completed.

The report details internal and external scans done of the City of Lansing.

The internal scan begins with focus groups with City of Lansing employees, identifying challenged, areas for growth, and areas where the City has been successful. A document analysis of the DEI initiatives, policies, and activities in the City of Lansing, with the final phase of the internal scan was a survey of the organization.

The following categories were analyzed:

  • Perceptions of the Mayor’s Race-Related Initiative
    • Overall, perceptions of Schor’s initiative were mixed, as employees in leadership roles appeared more optimistic than employees not in leadership roles.
  • Perceptions of Diversity
    • A few key points came from this:
      • A lack of diversity in the Fire Department, a majority male field with predominantly White employees.
      • Mixed perceptions on Lansing’s diversity, as some people thought their community was more diverse than others.
      • Lansing leaders do believe that diversity has improved over time
  • Perceptions of Equity
    • Four themes came to light when analyzing equity:
      • Inequitable employment practices based upon race, where people with institutional connections were treated better
      • BIPOC employees had different perceptions on equity, some people believed that every employee is treated differently, while others did not
      • Equity based on biological sex, some women believed they were treated disproportionately, while others did not.
      • Many employees stated that their report of discrimination was not treated properly; this trend was exceedingly prevalent across the fire department.
  • Perceptions of Inclusivity
    • Five themes were determined when looking into perceptions of inclusivity:
      • A lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity in regards to the treatment of BIPOC employees.
      • A lack of inclusive efforts being made by the City of Lansing.
      • Some employees have stated that some departments within the City of Lansing were not welcoming.
      • Some feel like they are heard and have a voice, while others do not.
      • Perceived sexism within departments, on the basis of biological sex.
  • Perceptions of Racial Interactions
    • Two themes were found:
      • A few employees expressed that they believe some employees were treated differently than other employees of other racial or ethnic groups.
      • A lack of interaction between different racial or ethnic groups, as trends demonstrated that people from the same ethnic or racial groups tend to interact with one another more.

The external scan of the City took place in the summer and fall of last year, where residents of Lansing were able to express their thoughts on diversity in Lansing through various virtual means.

The four themes came from the external scan:

  • Questioning the employees of the City of Lansing’s thoughts on DEI initiatives.
  • The majority of people felt “safe and comfortable” both living and working in Lansing.
  • Both racism and crime are problems in the City of Lansing.
  • People do not feel like they have relationships with the police in charge of patrolling their respective communities.

Completion of the City of Lansing’s Racial Justice and Equity Report is the beginning of a long-term effort to strengthen Lansing’s racial equity and provide opportunities for all. I’d like to thank all of the members of the Mayor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance for the countless hours they have spent to put together a community-based report to better our future. Lansing is truly strengthened by our diversity.”

Mayor Andy Schor

The following committees and committee heads gathered and utilized public input as well as research to help create the report:

  • Arts & Culture: Lorenzo Lopez & Angela Mathews
  • Communities & Neighborhoods: Calvin Jones & Lural Baltimore
  • Education & Youth Development: Dr. Delsa Chapman & Carmen Turner
  • Health & Environmental Justice: Dr. LaKeeya Tucker & Linda Vail 
  • History of Lansing: Paula Cunningham & Willard Walker
  • Housing & Development: Susan Cancro & Joel Ferguson
  • Jobs & Economic Development: Karl Dorshimer & Dr. Alane Laws-Barker
  • Mission, Vision, Values & Commitment: Lisa Crumley & Dr. Daryl Green
  • Public Safety: Pastor Melvin T. Jones & Attorney Pamela Davies 
  • Training: Linda Sanchez-Gazella, Kimberly Coleman, & Guadalupe Ayala

To access the full report, click here.

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