Lexington’s Racial Justice and Equality commission wraps up meetings and works on report

Source: Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s Mayor put together a series of committees to try and address systemic racism in Fayette County back in June, now the groups are writing up the final report.

The report is expected to be submitted to Mayor Linda Gorton by mid-October, and released to the public later in the month.

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On June 15, Gorton appointed Roszalyn Akins, Executive Director of BMW Academy and civic leader, and Dr. Gerald Smith, University of Kentucky History professor and Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, as commission co-chairs.

Akins and Smith, who have been a part of many of the subcommittee meetings, are now supervising the writing of the report.

“Based on our many conversations with the vice-chairs each of the subcommittees’ recommendations are thoughtful, engaging and a reflection of the overall commitment to address systemic racism in Fayette County,” said Akins and Smith.

The Mayor asked the group to seek viable solutions that would dismantle systemic racism in Fayette County.

The group was divided into five subcommittees, each with an area of concentration including Racial Equity; Education & Economic Opportunity; Health Disparities; Law Enforcement, Justice and Accountability; and Housing & Gentrification.

The Mayor’s Office says subcommittees worked through a total of 40 virtual meetings, all public.

Views of all subcommittee meetings totaled 7,643 with an average of 191 views per subcommittee meeting.

Citizens were also encouraged to submit ideas through email, and the subcommittees received over 100 emails, according to the Mayor’s Office.

In addition, there were three 90-minute virtual town hall meetings.