Helena approves members for Diversity and Inclusion Board

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2021

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

HELENA – The Helena City Council voted to approve members that will represent the city on the newly created Diversity and Inclusion Board on June 28.

The board was created after the city produced its “Diversity and Inclusion Framework” and after citizens spent time talking to local leaders about the need for such a group.

The board’s 11 members are a diverse coalition of Helena citizens representing different genders, races, professional backgrounds and cultures.

Helena Councilmember Laura Joseph is the council liaison for the board. She said that she is excited for the group to start meeting so diverse perspectives about the city can be shared.

“One of the best things about the group is the diversity board is actually diverse. We have a great mix of folks from all over our city that bring a ton of professional and life experience to the board,” Joseph said. “I think it will end up being really beneficial for the city.”

The council voted to approve Maggie Bell, Stacee Brown, Jerome Dangerfield, Kennethee Dunner, Dominga Gardner, Wei Han, Cory Johnson, Micaela Oer, Brad Radice, Joe Steele and Gracious Washington for the board.

Applications for the board opened up after its creation was approved in April. Members were voted on by the Council at the June 28 meeting.

While immediate plans have not been made, Joseph expressed that she would like for the board to start meeting in July and then have monthly meetings going forward.

“At our first meeting we can all just share our experiences and identify some areas that we can all get behind,” Joseph said. “We want to figure out what areas we can improve, and how to go about improving them, whether that is something citywide, educational or just an event. This is new and we don’t know what it will look like going forward.”

There is no set agenda for what the board will seek to accomplish, but the hope is that members will be able to find tangible ways to improve the experience of everyone within the city.