City of High Point moving forward with diversity, inclusion and equity initiative

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Part of an effort to promote diversity, High Point is one step closer to creating a new position within the city.

Monday night High Point City Council members decided to move forward with a budget that includes a diversity, inclusion and equity specialist.

“As we’re making decisions about High Point’s future, we include this component in it, it’s just as important as anything else,” said Cyril Jefferson, who represents Ward 1.

High Point’s former city manager introduced a list of proposed changes back in early May, including a diversity training program for supervisors, and improving recruitment of underrepresented candidates.

“We wanted to make sure that every citizen in High Point wanted to make sure they felt included, at the table, that they were heard, that they were respected and that they have the same opportunities as everyone else,” said Wesley Hudson, representing Ward 4.

Tuesday a city spokesperson said council members chose to focus first on the new position, but said funding has not been determined.

Improving diversity and equity in the city has been an ongoing conversation for council members.

“It has always been on our mind, it has always been a focus, but this year it has become foremost in our goals,” Hudson explained.

Despite budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, council members said the new position was a worthwhile investment.

“As we look to revitalize, as we look to renew as we look to reinvigorate ourselves with purpose and with passion, we want to ensure that’s what included in there is a way forward for all of our citizens,” Jefferson said.

Council members will continue their conversation about the city’s budget Thursday at a work session.

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