The City of Turlock and Stanislaus State have entered into a unique partnership to address issues of inclusion and diversity within Turlock, with the goal of making the city and the campus feel safe for all residents by fostering belonging and acceptance.
By a unanimous vote of the Turlock City Council on Sept. 11, the Joint Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion was created. Working together, the city and the University will coordinate, encourage and implement initiatives and activities to promote an inclusive community that reflects the rich and diverse experiences, values, worldviews and cultures in our city.
"Turlock is a great place to live, with a rich history of diverse cultures and walks of life," said Mayor Gary Soiseth. "This task force will serve as a great tool to help highlight the benefits of our diversity while also tackling pressing issues of inclusion and acceptance in our city. I'm grateful for the strong partnership with Stanislaus State and their dedication to supporting the wider Turlock community."
The commitment to work with the city to address these issues is an expansion of the work already in progress at Stanislaus State, which last year created a Diversity Center to actively study and confront diversity and inclusion issues on campus.
“It is of paramount importance that every person who steps on our campus, whether student, faculty, staff, administration or guest, feels as if they’ve entered a zone where everybody is welcome,” said Stan State President Ellen Junn.
“This is something in which we believe strongly, and many students have spoken out to bring attention to these needs. A formal partnership to address these needs on a city-wide basis is an important step for everybody.”
The proposal called for a 15-member taskforce to be comprised of people representing the City of Turlock, Stanislaus State and the community. The city manager and University representatives will review applications and recommend prospective members for presentation to the City Council ratification. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on October 5.
The committee will be charged with the following tasks:
- Host educational/cultural lectures, events, and activities
- Gather and review data on relevant diversity topics
- Establish closer, regular communication and consultation between city and university regarding issues of diversity that affects the city as a whole
- Develop list of stakeholder resources for future activities
- Build stronger relationship with the City of Turlock Police, University Police and other community safety organizations
- Enhance communications
- Develop and manage the task force website that also will be visible on the city and University site
- Create brochures and posters to promote events and activities
- Compile and provide a list of relevant resources for different community constituencies
- Publish an annual report
“The importance of this taskforce cannot be overstated,” said Turlock City Manager Bob Lawton. “By joining campus, city and citizens in common cause, we raise understanding and reduce the fear of the unfamiliar. I look forward to supporting the taskforce’s efforts toward greater community unity.”