DISMANTLING RACISM TOGETHER
Racial disparity exists when it comes to healthcare for African Americans. These disparities include less access to healthcare, fear of treatment during healthcare visits and past traumas from racist practices. These disparities continue to face African Americans in West Virginia particularly when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination. Nicole Wilson-Carr, committee lead on the Morgantown/Kingwood NAACP Health Committee, will join Dismantling Racism Together on Wednesday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. She will speak to the challenges of getting African Americans vaccinated for COVID-19, challenges such as lack of knowledge and access to the use of technology needed to register for vaccines, the lack of people who “look like me” giving vaccines, and the fears from past traumas where African Americans were deceived in scientific “experiments.” Please join us. Bring your questions, your thoughts, and ideas on how to support the NAACP as it seeks to address these challenges.
Here is the Zoom link to join the meeting and discussion:
Dismantling Racism Together is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Dismantling Racism Together-April 21
Time: Apr 21, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 1289 1380
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For more information on this group, please go here or email DismantlingRacismTogether@gmail.com.
MORGANTOWN CITY COUNCIL ELECTION PROCESS NOW UNDERWAY
CCSJ does not endorse candidates, but we do encourage everyone to vote. If you are a resident of the City of Morgantown, you can get election information at www.morgantownwv.gov/157/Election-Information. We are pleased to note that City Clerk Christine Wade will be working with the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and possibly other groups to provide diversity training to City poll workers. We will keep you posted if this information will be available to the general public to view.
Here are the upcoming key dates:
April 6 - Voter Registration Deadline
April 14 - 24 - Early Voting
April 27 - Election Day
Kudos to Morgantown City Clerk Christine Wade, who included a diversity training section in the poll worker training for the City election. Aisury Vasquez, the WVU Diversity Outreach Coordinator, discussed bias and the ways that unconscious bias could impact the voting experience. Ms. Wade made this section available to anyone who wanted to log in, and CCSJ was happy to send the link to a variety of local groups.
The Morgantown City Council to vote on CROWN-related ordinance. At the March 30th Committee of the Whole meeting, City Council members voted to advance a proposed revision to the City Human Rights Commission ordinance.
The first reading of this ordinance is scheduled for April 6th regular meeting of City Council that starts at 7:00 p.m. Information about speaking during the public portion of the meeting will be available by Friday, April 2nd, at www.morgantownwv.gov/AgendaCenter. If this passes the first reading, it should be on the agenda for the April 20th meeting for a public hearing and then second reading and final vote. You can get contact information for city council members here.
The language in this ordinance is designed to reflect language in a bill that Delegate Danielle Walker introduced to the West Virginia House of Delegates, but which did not get through the committee process.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE 153 GOVERNING THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON HAIR STYLE OR TEXTURE
WHEREAS, on March 2, 2021, the City Council of The City of Morgantown adopted its Resolution affirming support for the CROWN Act, which is intended to create a respectful and open world for natural hair; and WHEREAS, the resolution supporting the CROWN Act directed that the City Code be amended to provide specific protection for natural and protective hairstyles in connection with the City’s prohibition on discrimination based on race; and
WHEREAS, there is currently pending before the West Virginia House of Delegates legislation adding protection for natural and protective hairstyles to the West Virginia Human Rights Act, codified at W. Va. Code § 5-11-1 et seq.; and
WHEREAS, this ordinance will add language from Senate Bill 108 and House Bill 4508 to the City Human Rights Commission authorizing ordinance with the intention to establish a consistent protection against discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles;
NOW, THEREFORE, the City of Morgantown hereby ordains that Section 153.02 of the City Code is amended as follows:
Discriminate or discrimination means to exclude from, or fail or refuse to extend to, a person equal opportunities because of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status or veteran status and includes to separate or segregate.
For the purposes of this article, discrimination based on race includes, but is not limited to, discrimination based on hair textures and protective hairstyles historically associated with a particular race.
Race means a social construct grouping humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.
Protective hairstyles means hairstyles historically associated with a particular race and includes, but is not limited to, hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.
This ordinance is effective upon adoption.
MORGANTOWN SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY POLICING AND CITIZENS REVIEW BOARD: The committee met on March 22nd and reviewed some of the comments received about the proposed ordinance to establish a civilian police review and advisory board. The next meeting will be Monday, April 12th, at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom. Meetings are open to the public. Go to www.morgantownwv.gov/AgendaCenter and scroll down to “Special Committee” to find information on accessing the meeting. It should be posted a few days before the meeting.