On October 1, 2020, the Board of Directors for the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission unanimously passed a resolution ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in all MVRPC staff, committee, and Board of Directors actions.
This action is immensely significant because the MVRPC Board of Directors represents nearly 80 local communities and public entities in the Miami Valley Region.
It confirms that collectively, the Miami Valley denounces all forms of discrimination and racism and will work together to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in all communities.
Through the resolution, the Board of Directors:
- Denounces discrimination of any group or in any form based upon race, income, jurisdiction, ability, national origin, age, religion, sexual preference or gender;
- Directs the Executive Director to work with requesting member organizations to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in their communities and organizations;
- Requests that the Executive Director develop proactive policies, training programs, and other strategies that increase the understanding of racism, equity, access to opportunity, and diversity among MVRPC staff, boards, committees, and communities;
- Encourages all members in their own time to develop letters, statements or resolutions and implement activities that increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in their communities;
- Encourages all MVRPC member local governments and organizations to utilize any policies or tools developed to this end so that MVRPC through its Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities shares this information with members, tracks national best practices, and develops strategies to assist member local governments and organizations;
- Advocates and supports the continued active involvement of the Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities as the regional and community entity that works to address racism, increase equity, provide access to opportunity, and increase livability in the communities and organizations of the Miami Valley;
- Supports the agency’s involvement in local, state, and federal purchasing programs that ensure fairness and equal opportunity programs for minority and women owned businesses;
- Directs the Executive Director to develop a business plan, metrics, and provide annual updates to the Board of Directors on the success of these programs, projects, and policies prepared to address racism and increase diversity, inclusion, and equity throughout the Miami Valley Region.
The process to pass a regional resolution of this magnitude was as important as the vote itself. It sparked conversations within dozens of our member communities about how they might reflect their own commitments to their residents, with many issuing their own statements or passing their own similar resolutions.
This powerful statement by our Board of Directors affirms that as a Region, we will proactively plan for ways to address inequity because increasing disparity adversely impacts peoples’ quality of life now and for future generations.
The action taken by the MVRPC Board of Directors is the latest in a series of efforts by MVRPC to accurately capture research, harness data and place a focus on equity in the Miami Valley.
- In July 2017, we published the Miami Valley Equity Regional Profile, using data and maps to clearly demonstrate that not all areas of our Region have equal access to opportunity.
- In October 2017, MVRPC launched the Miami Valley Equity Initiative in response to the clear gaps identified through our Equity Profile.
- In 2019, in partnership with The Dayton Foundation, the Del Mar Fund, Learn to Earn Dayton and local business, healthcare, non-profit and higher education institutions, our Equity Initiative evolved to become the Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities.
- As part of this effort, MVRPC convenes on a monthly basis with the Equity Leadership Team, a broad cross section of community leaders committed to developing strategies and funding initiatives that reduce racism and increase access to opportunity for all.
Adoption of the resolution further supports the agency’s work in this area. It confirms that the MVRPC Board of Directors is highly supportive of MVRPC, the Miami Valley, and our partners in this work.
The MVRPC staff will proudly work with our Board and all Miami Valley communities, businesses, and organizations to assist each and every one with designing the custom approaches to assist with reaching their equity, diversity and inclusion goals.
The affirmation that racism and discrimination must be eliminated from our Region offers a unified declaration of the challenge we must take on together and within our own organizations, neighborhoods, schools, and broader communities.
Our work is just beginning.