Akron, Ohio– Mayor Dan Horrigan has released a new report which summarizes the City of Akron’s efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in everything from safety and services to economic impact and recreation. This summary is a living document outlining efforts being taken to advance equity across City departments including Public Safety, Human Resources, Economic Development, and City Administration. To view the full document, click here.
“This report is just one step in our ongoing efforts to create a more equitable Akron and to be transparent with our citizens about our progress,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “This is not a ‘mission accomplished’ checklist, but rather a way of better informing and including the community in our continuing work. When talking to the community, especially over these past few weeks, residents are often surprised to hear about all the things we are already doing.”
“It’s vital that we look comprehensively at all our programs, departments, and policies, not just our safety forces, to make sure that we are fighting systemic racism wherever it exists,” Mayor Horrigan continued. “It will take all of us to combat the entrenched inequalities that still pervade our institutions. My administration will continue to ask ourselves how we can do better and hold ourselves accountable for creating the changes that our residents want to see in their communities.”
The report covers Akron Police Department’s policies in regards to racial profiling, search of any citizen’s person or property, use of force, training, recruiting, and more. It also discusses economic inclusion programs. Mayor Horrigan adds, “In Akron, enhancing equity requires us to focus on access to jobs and safe and healthy neighborhoods. Through programs like Rubber City Match, MORTAR at Bounce, and Elevate Greater Akron, we are intentionally ensuring Akron’s black population is being empowered to engage in our region’s growth and prosperity.” Additional City programs started by Mayor Horrigan that further support this mission include economic initiatives like Great Streets Akron, Bounce Innovation Hub, and the City’s Minority Contractor Capital Access Program (M-CCAP); and community programs like Full Term First Birthday, Late Night Basketball, and the Youth Violence Prevention Plan.
Mayor Horrigan has long placed an emphasis on racial equity in Akron. During this year’s State of the City address in February, he called on his fellow community leaders to join him in this fight saying, “As a community, the call to action around equity is one we can no longer afford to sideline. Across the globe, we are marching in a direction of greater diversity, elevating the voices of historically oppressed populations, reckoning with centuries of policy that enabled some to get ahead while pushing others down. Cities that hope to thrive in this century have to take this to heart. Akron has to, and will for as long as I’m mayor, be part of that brighter future – a leading example for other communities in this time of inclusion and empowerment.”