Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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, and is also aware that it must be done 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. It is also a repository for such items as definitions of relevant terms for understanding, indigenous land acknowledgment, and observed holidays.
For further transparency, Council’s recent efforts to formalize the process of anti-bias training and equitable policy-making are collected below.
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)