Building a Dialogue on DEI (Part Two)

Building a Dialogue on DEI (Part Two)

By Village Manager Phil Kiraly

As I shared in my blog on February 15, the Village Board and Community Relations Forum met on February 18 to talk about the Forum’s current work and future initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This discussion was a productive dialogue between community leaders who care a lot about Glencoe, but it’s really the beginning of a broader initiative for our entire community. If you’re curious to watch the meeting, you can view it here.

During the meeting, the nine Forum members shared an overview of the foundational work they have taken part in during the past several months, noting a new mission statement and how they intend to put it into action. Their initial efforts have been focused on engaging in conversations with Glencoe community stakeholders and institutions about racism and social equity. They also highlighted their ongoing work to better understand our community’s perspectives and needs regarding inclusion. In addition, Forum efforts are also focused on how we can together make Glencoe more welcoming and inclusive, and how we can build community to deepen relationships in order to get know one another better.

Several residents shared comments about their enthusiasm about the work the Village is doing related to DEI, as well as their desire to be part of these efforts moving forward. The Village Board expressed its strong support of the Forum’s work and asked staff to begin reviewing and revising the Village’s Human Relations Ordinance (in place since 1997) to more fully articulate the Village’s core values related to equity and inclusion.

What was affirmed yet again during the meeting is that the Village Board, the Community Relations Forum and members of our community and staff are all committed to working together to make Glencoe the place where everyone feels welcome, included and has a sense that they belong. While I’ve known that these groups all share this desire, this discussion left me with a growing feeling of excitement – the kind that quietly develops when you can sense a groundswell of momentum toward something meaningful and lasting. None of this will be easy, but we know the rewards it will reap for our community as we work on this together.

If you would like to lend your voice and your talents to this effort, please consider joining the Community Relations Forum; it’s a group of dedicated volunteers who support diversity, equity and inclusion within the Village and work with the Village Board to further build Glencoe as a welcoming and inclusive community. We need more hands to help with this necessary work.

If you can’t commit to volunteering, please stay engaged with the Forum and their work: attend their meetings (typically the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. using Zoom), participate in the Forum’s community initiatives and activities or e-mail the Forum to share your thoughts on how Glencoe can continue growing as a welcoming and inclusive community. Every voice in our community is important, and we want to hear from you.