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Asheville City Council hears next steps in Reparations process 

  During the October 12 City Council meeting, Debra Clark Jones, President of TEQuity, the selected project management firm, outlined next steps in the City of Asheville’s Reparations initiative. Information was shared during the City Manager’s Report to Council.     Debra Clark Jones During their September 14 meeting, City Council voted to authorize the City Manager to hire

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Brenda Mills appointed as Interim Equity and Inclusion Director for City of Asheville

  Asheville City Manager Debra Campbell has appointed veteran City employee Brenda Mills as Interim Equity and Inclusion Director as the City continues its search for a permanent director.    In her new role, Mills’ first priority will be to fill all Equity and Inclusion positions and focus on building a cohesive team to strengthen the solid foundation [...]

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City of Asheville shares information about Nondiscrimination Ordinance implementation

  At their April 27 meeting, Asheville City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting discriminatory practices which prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations within the City of Asheville based on upon any of the following: race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin [...]

City of Asheville to launch Information Sharing and Truth Telling Speaker Series

    The Information Sharing and Truth Telling Speaker Series is the first phase of the City of Asheville’s process to deliver community reparations for Black Asheville. The series will include local and national speakers who share information about past policies, present trends and disparities, and future initiatives. The community will have opportunities to participate. Please join [...]

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Equity and Inclusion Assessment presented to Asheville City Council

  Three years after the inception of the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, an internal assessment looks at the work conducted by the department and opportunities for improvement.   At their March 9 meeting, Internal Auditor Patricia Rosenberg presented the Equity and Inclusion Assessment findings to Asheville City Council. The assessment began as a request from Black [...]

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City of Asheville takes equity-focused approach to budget

Work sessions scheduled   It’s budget season for the City of Asheville. From March through June, City Council will work with City staff to review budget options, aligning Council and community priorities with available funding.   The City’s operating budget must be passed by July 1.    The discussions leading up to the final budget happen during budget work sessions, meetings [...]

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City of Asheville announces recipients of racial healing mini-grants

  The City of Asheville is pleased to announce the recipients of Asheville racial healing mini-grants. This is the second year funding has been made available.  The City received 29 applications and selected nine.  The mini-grants represent a total community investment of $40,000.    The following organizations will receive funding: Operation Gateway (Collaborative project: Workforce Development/YMI Cultural Center and [...]

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Look ahead: City of Asheville projects and initiatives for the new year

  Asheville residents can look upon the new year with optimism. Together, we’ve weathered a pandemic and a vaccine will be available this year. Even so, the City of Asheville’s response to COVID-19 will continue in the new year, in coordination with the state of North Carolina and Buncombe County.   Residents can look forward to advances in [...]

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Asheville’s 30/60/90 Day Plan transitions to a sustained effort: Advancing Racial Equity in Asheville 

  From the start, City Manager Debra Campbell said Asheville’s 30/60/90 Day Plan was only the beginning and would serve as a foundation for a more holistic approach to incorporating racial equity into City operations. At the Dec. 8 City Council meeting, she unveiled the next step and it is intended to be a step that [...]

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Second round of racial healing grant funding now available through City of Asheville’s Office of Equity and Inclusion 

  The Office of Equity and Inclusion application for racial healing grants for local nonprofits are now available. This is the second year of funding, and like last year, the grant amount up to $4,999 aims to support existing projects  in Asheville that promote racial healing, reconciliation, and/or transformation in Asheville communities.    The [...]

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City of Asheville would like community input on Race and Gender Policy business handbook

    At their Oct. 27 meeting, Asheville City Council adopted a new race and gender-conscious policy.     Why have this policy Small businesses are the backbone of the Asheville economy. The vast majority of local employers are small private firms, and many are minority-, women-, and veteran-owned. Strengthening opportunities for small and diverse businesses strengthens [...]

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City of Asheville advances equity through multiple interconnected initiatives

    Advancing racial equity and social justice consists of many efforts working in concert with each other to promote larger societal change. This is not a one-off effort, nor the sole work of one department. It’s a team effort that has to be blended into all City of Asheville departments, folded into our mission to provide [...]

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Welcome to Hispanic Heritage Month

Welcome to Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration of Hispanic Heritage is “marked” from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15. I could go into some more historical information or talk about some of the Latinx greats like Selena, Frida Kahlo, Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, etc. but because Hispanic Heritage should be celebrated every day of the year, I want to use this opportunity to talk about our collective survival. Let me tell you what I mean by that but first, do you know where your food comes from?

Hands of many colors
Asheville student reflects on back to school in an era of Black Lives Matter, a Generation Z perspective 

As we return to school during these unprecedented times, I can't help but reflect on the life-changing events of 2020. As a young person witnessing history, I think about how this moment will be taught to future generations. I also think about how my generation has been taught about history.