Cedar Rapids’ diversity team hasn’t met in roughly six months, as City reopens search for diversity, equity and inclusion manager

The Cedar Rapids Employee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team hasn’t had any activity between December 2020 to May 2021. The team is supposed to perform a similar role to the diversity, equity and inclusion manager.

That’s a new position the city of Cedar Rapids created after the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer. The city of Cedar Rapids told city council members on Friday, in an email, it would renew its search after not coming to an agreement with a potential candidate. The city released the email on its website after our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team sent an open records request.

The city began the search process for a diversity, equity and inclusion manager in September 2020. Anthony Arrington, who is a managing partner at a Cedar Rapids recruitment business, said there’s no excuse why that position should not be filled.

Arrington, who is also the media representative for the Advocates for Social Justice, said this wait is more proof the city is all talk on diversity and no action.

“I think what it shows is a lack, in my opinion is a lack of urgency and a lack of focus by our leadership in this city,” he said.

Maria Johnson, who is a spokesperson for the city, said 45 people applied for the position. The city hired GovHR for $21,000 to help search for a candidate.

Amara Andrews said, in an emailed statement, it is concerning that the city couldn’t fill a position related to diversity.

She said it is even more concerning the Employee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hasn’t met in over six months.

“I understand this is difficult work, but if we say we are going to make DEI a priority,” Andrews said. “We must take it seriously. It cannot be performative. We can and we must do better.”

This article was originally posted by KCRG. Click here to read the full article.

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