City of Lakewood takes steps to examine racial inequities

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW)– The city of Lakewood is taking new steps to examine social justice issues by taking part in a YWCA Greater Cleveland 21-Day “Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge.”

City council adopted a resolution on Monday committing to participating and promoting the challenge.

Read more on the resolution here

“Myself, my directors, along with all city staff are going to partake in the 21-day challenge for racial equity and social justice reform,” said Lakewood Mayor Meghan George.

The nearly month-long challenge aims to teach through a series of curated articles, podcasts and videos about how racial inequities impact voting, education, criminal justice and public health.

“The goal is to give them the language, confidence, tools that they need to step in and be an ally on racial equity,” said Paige Robar of YWCA Greater Cleveland.

In Lakewood, the mayor said examining racial equity could spark change.

“We’re going to take a thorough review on policies, not only in our police department, our own HR policies as well. So hopefully, this sparks a larger conversation and larger changes within city hall, but also our community as a whole,” George said.

According to Robar, the 2020 challenge created in Cleveland has spread nationwide, with thousands of participants across 700 zip codes.

George credits Councilmember Sarah Kepple for bringing the educational opportunity to her attention.

“The point is start where you are, we all have a place in this work. There is nobody who cannot advocate for racial equity,” Robar said.

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