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Feb 01

City Manager's Message Feb. 1: Diversity training

Posted on February 1, 2021 at 5:25 PM by Don Mann

Good day, 


While I know that COVID and the ongoing vaccination efforts are a major focus for many of us these days, today I write you about another major priority and emphasis — our work around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Hampton’s city government has repeatedly received national honors for our innovation. We always strive to grow, instead of resting on our laurels.
 
We are also known as one of the nation’s most diverse communities. We embraced our diversity years ago, creating the Unity Commission to help both staff and community members understand and appreciate people of other races, cultures, faiths, abilities and genders. City Council adopted a Unity Pledge at that time.
 
It’s time to take the next leap forward. Diversity is just one of three related concepts. It’s not enough to understand our differences. We must take the next steps of creating equity across all groups and ensure everyone is included and able to participate.
 
One way we are being inclusive through this effort is ensuring every employee has an email address. That way, everyone has equal access to the important information we share via email. Late last month, we completed this process. Now, every employee can be connected through our city notification system.
 
To ensure we collectively continue to move forward with our organization’s efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion, my leadership team and I went through some additional training around these concepts. We embraced them enthusiastically (as you will soon see). This is not because of political correctness or the latest trend. We all truly believe that our organization is and will continue to be a better organization because we genuinely focus on these principles. 
 
I am proud that our Citizens Unity Commission department will be able to bring this same training to you – all internet based and in short segments. We plan to go live with this training by the 3rd week in February. I encourage you all to complete the training as your schedule permits, but within 30 days of its release. Your department heads and supervisors will work with you to ensure you have time to watch the 5 modules of 11-12 minutes each.
 
For now, you can watch this introductory video to see how fully the city’s leadership team is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion: https://hampton.gov/diversitytraining
 
The city of Hampton is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – a core philosophy that will ensure that we support an engaged staff who can best serve all of our residents, businesses and visitors.
Our goal is to attract, retain, and develop a wide range of individuals from all backgrounds who bring their unique experiences and perspectives to create an innovative and thriving workforce.
We believe in maintaining an open, collaborative, and diverse workplace where employees feel involved in day-to-day interactions between peers, managers, and teams. We will ensure that each employee has access to opportunities for individual growth and development. As part of that goal, we commit to a continuous review of our systems and processes to identify and eliminate barriers or obstacles.
The City of Hampton will explore different perspectives and unique experiences in order to increase empathy, adaptability, and respect for one another within our workforce. This will extend to our interactions with the public, as we are leaders in developing a culturally competent community.
We pledge to operate collectively toward this vision, relying on the unique differences of our members to achieve the common goal of unity and high performance.

 
I hope you have a wonderful week!

— Mary

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