In a city council meeting on Oct. 20, members discussed the success of their first Diversity & Inclusion training session. The session focused on recognizing their internal biases and ways to emphasize equity in their practices.
Stephens said he is proud of the progress that has come from this program. He said it not only allows council members to learn more about each other, but to also critically assess the areas in which they need to improve. Stephens and other council members said the program was challenging but recognized the importance of it. He said he looks forward to continuing these monthly meetings, which are expected to get deeper with each session.
Councilmember Lisa Babcock said the meeting was intense, but she was happy to be a part of the program.
In addition to the Diversity & Inclusion training, Stephens also plans to make changes to make East Lansing an equitable place for all residents. With many policies already in the works, Stephens said it is important to make sure the initiatives reflect the equality and inclusion councilmembers have been learning about.
East Lansing resident Ella Spicketts said such a program is long overdue. She said she hopes the sessions will help council members recognize their biases, which she said is vital for change. Spicketts remains optimistic about the impact of the program and the policies to come.