Montgomery Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The City of Montgomery, like most American communities, is growing and diversifying. Presently, our excellent school system, Sycamore Community Schools, has a student population representing 54 nationalities and 41 spoken languages, making it one of the most culturally diverse systems in the State. Approximately 10 percent of Montgomery residents are cultural minorities.
City Council and administration believe the infusion of diverse cultures, faiths, and customs enriches social and civic life and is a positive development for the community. As a municipal government, there is a tremendous benefit in nurturing and promoting this diversity in the community, and it warrants a higher priority on the City agenda.
The committee is lead by longtime Montgomery resident Robert “Chip” Harrod.
Our View of Diversity
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.
- Committee was formed by City Manager Brian Riblet and had its first meeting in January 2018.
- Held 11 meetings.
- Created the #IamMontgomery campaign including a video, 400 buttons, 200 yard signs, t-shirts.
- Completed a cultural review of the city’s social media sites.
- Member Umama Alam presented “Understanding Islam and Muslims” at the May meeting.
- Represented at the Farmers Market with our members in a booth at the Market.
- Represented in the July 4 Parade with members in a parade unit.
- Represented at the July 4 Festival with members in a booth at the Festival.
- Assisted with the recruitment for MCLA class of 2019.
- Member Alfonso Cornejo presented “Hispanics in Ohio and Cincinnati MSA” at the July meeting.
- Member Sasha Naiman presented, “Rebuilding Lives: how people with criminal records reintegrate into the community” at the August meeting.
- Hosted a Dinner Party in Montgomery Park in October with 40 registered and 50 attending.
- Sycamore Schools team Frank Forsthoefel, Karen Naber and Emily Williams the Supervisor of English as a Second Language, presented “Valuing Diversity” at the October meeting.
- Jamahal Boyd of Tri-Health presented on “Diversity and Inclusion: The Strategy” at the November meeting.
- Shane DiGiovanna presented about turning adversity into opportunity at the December meeting.
- Profiled Member Chris Burns in the December Bulletin
- The topic of Diversity and Inclusion has been structured into the curriculum of an upcoming Montgomery Citizens Leadership Academy class
- Added to the 2019 City Calendar information about our Committee and advising on the diverse holidays page in the calendar.
- Created a two-year strategic work plan.
- Brian Riblet obtained a $4,000 grant for our committee through the Duke Energy Foundation.