In response to the recent national and local protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man by a Minneapolis police officer, Durham County’s leadership has issued several public statements of solidarity. Read Commissioners’ Jacobs and Hill statements here on behalf of the Durham County’s Board of County Commissioners. Read Commissioner Howerton’s statement here. Find Durham County’s Board of County Commissioners Resolution, Racism as a Public Health Crisis here.
These statements highlight the persistent and insidious nature of racism as a root cause of unequal outcomes among black, indigenous and people of color across our systems. These statements also reaffirm the County’s commitment to achieve racial equity and serve as a stark reminder of how we must harness this moment and act. Racism is not just about individual acts of hatred. Racism operates on a systemic level, which means it influences our policies and practices even within our own jurisdiction.
Durham County Government is a member of the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE). We recently hired our first Racial Equity Officer, Kweli Rashied-Henry, who will lead our GARE team in developing a County-wide racial equity action plan. On Monday, June 29th, we will launch our first racial equity employee survey to gather information on our knowledge, understanding and perceptions of racial equity. Survey input will also inform the action plan and we are counting on your support.