DEI Council Actions

The Town of Orono is a community of individuals who represent diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Orono Town Council values this diversity and has historically taken steps to enact ordinances and set policies ensuring equal protections for all. Council is committed to continuing that work with intention, education, and self-reflection.

This page is a resource for learning more about Council's discussions and actions regarding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Orono.

For further transparency, Council’s recent efforts to formalize the process of anti-bias training and equitable policy-making are collected below.

06/20/2022  Council Community Development Committee: Review of Draft DEI Committee Charge (Planned Discussion)

The Council Committee will review a draft DEI Committee charge and provide feedback to staff regarding next steps.

02/28/22  Council Community Development Committee:  Town DEI Initiative Next Steps

The Council Committee discussed general priorities, goals, and objectives to be included in a formal charge for a DEI Committee.  Staff will develop a draft charge and bring it back to the Committee for discussion after the FY23 municipal budget process is complete and the Town Council returns to a regular committee schedule.

02/07/22  Council Community Development Committee: Discussing Next Steps

The Council Committee reviewed the Ad Hoc Committee Report recommendations and information provided by staff regarding municipal efforts to date and potential initial action items.
View YouTube video of meeting here

01/31/22  Council Community Development Committee: Staff Presentation

Staff presented information about the Town's current efforts related to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in Town operations. 
View PDF of report here
View YouTube video of meeting here

10/4/21   Council Finance and Operations Committee: Discuss Next Steps for Developing a Town Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan    

As part of a general Operations Update, the Town Manager and Council discussed connecting the Ad Hoc DEI Committee's recommendations to current operations and professional best practices for similarly sized and resourced municipalities.  Councilors supported staff taking the next months to conduct an internal evaluation of Town operations, identify relevant municipal best practices, and develop recommendations for Council's consideration.  Staff will report back to the Council Community Development Committee in early-2022.  https://youtu.be/OF2bV8iTSNs?t=4352

9/30/21   Council Training Workshop:  Understanding Bias and Prejudice     

Councilors participated in this highly interactive class, facilitated by Mandy Levine of Mandy Levine Consulting, aimed at increasing awareness of their own personal biases - both explicit and implicit - and how these biases impact the ways in which they navigate the world and their role as Town Councilors. (No Video or Minutes)

9/13/21    COUNCIL WORKSHOP: Ad Hoc Community Committee

 

Ad hoc DEI Committee presented their recommendations report ( view PDF here) to the Town Council.
Starts here: https://youtu.be/KoaG5isN9rs?t=3705



4/26/21    SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING/FINANCE & OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING: Ad Hoc Community Committee

 

Council discussed the proposed membership of the ad hoc community committee.
Starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6O6lGvMixA&t=6432s


4/12/21    COUNCIL MEETING: Consideration of Draft Plan for Council Training and Community Engagement

 

Council  formally considered adoption of a plan that details future Council training opportunities and creation of an ad hoc community committee to evaluate and advise Council on a plan for the Town to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues.
Starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdYyHLjoIqI&t=3742s


3/29/21    COUNCIL WORKSHOP: Discussion of Draft Plan for Council Training and Community Engagement

 

Council  reviewed a draft plan to formalize diversity, equity and inclusion training for Council and community members on these issues. Link to the slide presentation can be found here.

Starts at 00:25:40 (https://youtu.be/dUrhFfiL50I?t=1540)


3/18/21             COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING: Continued Discussion of Next Steps 


Council continued its discussion of two proposals to formalize diversity, equity, and inclusion training for Council as part of regular operations, as well as next steps in engaging community members on these issues.

Starts at 00:25:55 (https://youtu.be/NavKFhoXxbg?t=1555)


3/8/21             WORKSHOP: Discussion of Next Steps 


Council discusses a proposal to formalize diversity, equity, and inclusion training for Council as part of regular operations, as well as next steps in engaging community members on these issues. 

Starts at 00:51:53 (https://youtu.be/cWF4TmkhDd4?t=3113)


2/8/21             WORKSHOP: Discussion of How to Be an Antiracist (Book by Ibram X. Kendi) 

                        

Council discusses Ibram X. Kendi’s book, as well as antiracism as a concept. 
Starts at 1:23:36 (https://youtu.be/Mvwvrtl-2rY?t=5016)


1/11/21           WORKSHOP: Discussion of The Color of Fear Documentary 

 

Councilors discuss “The Color of Fear” documentary and also learn from staff about efforts underway to launch a diversity and Inclusion partnership with the University of Maine. 

Starts at 1:15:56 (https://youtu.be/ZQQRSlR9jOI?t=4556)


12/14/20         WORKSHOP: Discussion of ‘Transforming Self for Racial Equity’ Training 

 

Councilors Greenier and Gardner, and Town Manager Sophie Wilson, discuss a training from the University of Maine’s Multicultural Student Center. 
Starts at 46:45 (https://youtu.be/O8vTtoGYV1I?t=2805)


11/23/20         WORKSHOP: Presentation Introducing the Concept of Environmental Justice (Presenter: Councilor Robertson with Guest Mea Johnson from Community Action Works) 

 

                         Starts at 4:54 (https://youtu.be/rrUW56RV6f4?t=294)


10/29/20         COUNCIL DISCUSSION: Planning Next Steps to Learn About Racial and Social Equity Issues in Orono 

 

                           A proposal for Council education and discussion, created with input from the University of Maine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, intended to preface community stakeholder meeting. 

Starts at 00:15 (https://youtu.be/LjEF1TAkqcI?t=15)


10/19/20         Updates from Council Chair and Town Manager: Racial Equity and Justice

 

                           Town Manager Sophie Wilson discusses the relevant trainings staff have completed over the years, as well as plans for future steps. Council Chair Mehnert discusses attempts to secure training for Council that would conform to legal requirements around noticed meetings. 

Starts at 1:16:20 (https://youtu.be/X0o0q9WCs9M?t=4580)