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16 Dec 2022

SUBURBAN NEWS: First annual update from Delaware County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer Lauren Footman

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December 16, 2022 Category: Suburban News Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Lauren Footman

During County Council’s December 7 public meeting, the County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Lauren Footman presented the 2022 Impact Report, detailing the significant progress being made toward the county’s DE&I goals in 2022.

The creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer was a priority of Council and Lauren Footman was brought into the county in the spring. The office has a broad mandate to review current government operations, including, but not limited to operations of the County’s new health department, guidance to the County’s Human Resources Department and the Purchasing Office, support for Parks and Recreation, and support to criminal justice.

“In the last nine months, Delaware County has begun the long-overdue process of ensuring that every community has equal access to opportunity and that county services are being delivered in an equitable and accountable way,” Footman said. “I am excited about the progress that has already been made and our County’s collective commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are on our way to making Delaware County a place where everyone can succeed.”

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office is dedicated to:

Supporting the development of a workforce that encompasses the diversity of the communities we serve while cultivating a culture that is rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging

 Facilitating the creation of shared frameworks to ensure equity is considered in all aspects of our operations, including but not limited to program development and implementation, budgeting, procurement, and community engagement

 Providing insight on training, coaching, and technical assistance to internal and external stakeholders, including but not limited to supporting working groups

 Strengthening relationships with our community partners, to ensure they are reflected and respected within our operations and have equitable access to services and resources.

In its first year, the office’s work has been focused around improving the diversity of the County’s workforce through greater outreach and recruitment efforts, expanding opportunities for purchasing and vending by collaborating with Central Purchasing and Public Works to establish a supplier diversity program and expanding awareness of the County’s goals across every agency of government.

Next year, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to build on this year’s progress to develop a 3-year DEI Roadmap, partner with the County’s Personnel Department to expand training and professional development, collaborate with Procurement and Public Works to implement a supplier diversity strategy and continue to deepen and develop partnerships with other community stakeholders.

“Creating a more inclusive and equitable county is a priority of Council and we are pleased with the progress that the newly created Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office has accomplished in less than a year,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “We have much more to do, of course, but this new Impact Report shows what can be done in a short amount of time and lays out an ambitious roadmap for moving forward.”

For more information about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office and its work to dismantle the historic and contemporary barriers that prevent all members of our community from accessing opportunities and experiencing safe and healthy communities, please visit:

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