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Jackson Racial Equity Commission looking to take next step in efforts make the city more equitable

Posted at 5:44 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 17:44:33-04

JACKSON, Mich. — This week, years of work in the city of Jackson will start to come to fruition with the city hoping to meet its ultimate goal of becoming more racially equitable.

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis resonated around the country and in Jackson.

“I recognize that the conditions that were present to allow George Floyd’s murder to occur exist in every community. It just hasn’t happened here, and hopefully, it never will,” Racial Equity Commission Chair Kesha Hamilton said.

After Floyd’s death, Hamilton pushed for a Racial Equity Commission to be formed. She says racism is an issue in Jackson and shared her own experience with it.

“I’m in a biracial relationship, so I definitely got a lot of looks and stares,” she said. “My children are biracial as well, so I definitely experienced it, not only because of that relationship, but also just being as an African American woman.”

But, Hamilton says what happens in Jackson isn’t unique.

“Racism is systemic. It’s institutional,” she said.

Now, Hamilton is trying to take that on.

This week, the commission is set to host its first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion meet and greet where people can come together and collaborate on ideas to move Jackson forward. Hamilton hopes that talk can turn into action.

“If we want to change when we want to change, we’re going to get around those tables, look at that data and say, ‘okay, now what are we doing?’ And then, we’re going to aggressively attack that issue,” she said.

The free event is happening Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the King Center. If you’re in the diversity arena and have ideas, the commission is asking for you to come and share.

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