Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Town of Orono is a community of individuals who represent diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Council values this diversity and has historically taken steps to enact ordinances and set policies ensuring equal protections for all. Council is committed to continuing that work, and is also aware that it must be done with intention, education, and self-reflection. For further transparency, Council’s recent efforts to formalize the process of anti-bias training and equitable policy-making have been collected below

3/8/21             WORKSHOP: Discussion of Next Steps 


A proposal to formalize diversity, equity, and inclusion training for Council as part of Council’s regular operations. Council will also discuss next steps in engaging community members on these issues.

2/8/21             WORKSHOP: Discussion of How to Be an Antiracist (Book by Ibram X. Kendi) 


Council discusses Ibram X. Kendi’s book, as well as antiracism as a concept. 
Starts at 1:23:36 (https://youtu.be/Mvwvrtl-2rY?t=5016)

1/11/21           WORKSHOP: Discussion of The Color of Fear Documentary 


Councilors discuss “The Color of Fear” documentary and also learn from staff about efforts underway to launch a diversity and Inclusion partnership with the University of Maine. 

Starts at 1:15:56 (https://youtu.be/ZQQRSlR9jOI?t=4556)

12/14/20         WORKSHOP: Discussion of ‘Transforming Self for Racial Equity’ Training 


Councilors Greenier and Gardner, and Town Manager Sophie Wilson, discuss a training from the University of Maine’s Multicultural Student Center. 
Starts at 46:45 (https://youtu.be/O8vTtoGYV1I?t=2805)

11/23/20         WORKSHOP: Presentation Introducing the Concept of Environmental Justice (Presenter: Councilor Robertson with Guest Mea Johnson from Community Action Works) 


                         Starts at 4:54 (https://youtu.be/rrUW56RV6f4?t=294)

10/29/20         COUNCIL DISCUSSION: Planning Next Steps to Learn About Racial and Social Equity Issues in Orono 


                           A proposal for Council education and discussion, created with input from the University of Maine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, intended to preface community stakeholder meeting. 

Starts at 00:15 (https://youtu.be/LjEF1TAkqcI?t=15)

10/19/20         Updates from Council Chair and Town Manager: Racial Equity and Justice


                           Town Manager Sophie Wilson discusses the relevant trainings staff have completed over the years, as well as plans for future steps. Council Chair Mehnert discusses attempts to secure training for Council that would conform to legal requirements around noticed meetings. 

Starts at 1:16:20 (https://youtu.be/X0o0q9WCs9M?t=4580)