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City of Bentonville creates 'Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community Task Force'

The purpose of the DEI Community Task Force is to bring together a diverse group of people to support the 'Bentonville Together' initiative.
Credit: downtownbentonville.org

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — The City of Bentonville is now accepting applications for residents to serve on a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Task Force.

The purpose of the DEI Community Task Force is to build relationships between members and leaders of the community with the goal of bringing together a diverse group of people to support the Bentonville Together initiative.

Candidates interested in applying for the DEI Community Task Force should fill out the online application.

The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 15, and the selection committee will review the recommended applicants for appointment by the Mayor.

Bentonville Together goals:

  • Improve the city's understanding of local diverse representation, backgrounds and cultures
  • Identify ways that inclusion and equitable approaches could support Bentonville’s community vision
  • Provide guidance for meaningful and transformative actions with the goal of ensuring the City of Bentonville is welcoming and inclusive of all

The City of Bentonville says it will strive for inclusion with a ‘listen, learn, lead’ approach.

Listen

The City of Bentonville wants to better understand issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion by actively listening to individual experiences.

The listen phase seeks to:

  • Educate staff, officials and individuals on how to listen with an open mind 
  • Encourage staff, officials and individuals to actively and respectfully listen to community members of different backgrounds and experiences
  • Hold active listening sessions, internally for city department employees and externally for the community members that are inclusive of all, where participants feel comfortable and respected to share and receive information

Learn

The City of Bentonville wants to learn how to improve community members' personal experiences, build trust and shape future actions with organization and community conversations

The learn phase seeks to:

  • Provide resources to help individuals recognize their own biases, prejudices and behaviors as well as understand how their own experiences and background shape what they bring to and take from a conversation
  • Establish open and honest conversations between the community, city staff and city officials to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in a healthy and productive manner
  • Review city policies, practices and programs that may create inequality or exclusion

Lead

The City of Bentonville wants to lead by example and work collectively within the community.

The lead phase seeks to:

  • Establish a Mayor’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Employee Committee consisting of internal city department representatives to guide the city’s organizational strategies and actions
  • Establish the Mayor’s DEI Community Task Force consisting of individuals to guide community strategies & actions
  • Establish the Mayor’s DEI Advisory Board consisting of DEI field experts and Community Stakeholders to advise the city employee committee and community task force in the creation of a strategic short and long-term plan

Phase one of the DEI Community Task Force will include:

  • Support/Co Facilitate community listening sessions
  • Help promote educational/cultural lectures, events and activities
  • Gather and review data on relevant diversity topics
  • Establish closer, regular communication and consultation between DEI City Employee Resource Group and Advisory Board on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion that affect the city as a whole
  • Build a stronger relationship with the City of Bentonville Police Department, public offices, community safety organizations and diverse individuals of the community

The DEI Task Force is comprised of members of the City of Bentonville and represent by each ward and ex officio City Officials.

Members will serve terms up to three one-year terms.

The DEI Community Taskforce will meet once a month for and support community listening and feedback sessions as available with city officials.

For more information visit downtownbentonville.org.