HomeCity NewsSan Marino DEI Task Force Is Launched

San Marino DEI Task Force Is Launched

The city of San Marino reported a successful launch of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [DEI] task force, which supports the city’s continued efforts to become a more welcoming and inclusive community for all of its residents, according to its objective.

One year ago, the San Marino City Council unanimously voted to create the task force, comprised of civic-minded community members to address issues of inclusion in San Marino in an action-oriented manner.

To support the group’s efforts, the city has hired CPS-HR Consulting to provide technical guidance and support in the realm of DEI.

“The mission and goal of the DEI task force is to create a visioning and positioning diversity, equity, and inclusion statement for the city of San Marino, and an accompanying strategic action plan with concrete solutions to make San Marino a more inclusive, equitable and welcoming city to live, work, and thrive,” said City Manager Marcella Marlowe.

task force members are all residents of San Marino, representing a diverse sampling of backgrounds, viewpoints, and life experiences that make them passionate and committed to creating a unified, civic community that is reflective of the ideals of equity and inclusion for all residents.

The members went through a formal application process, during which they demonstrated a passion and love for the community as well as recognition that diversity is a strength and community asset which must be cultivated and nurtured, according to Marlowe.

Mayor Susan Jakubowski said she is optimistic about the development and work of the task force.

“I am delighted to have such wonderful participants committed to this DEI Task Force,” Jakubowski said.

“We are truly ‘One San Marino,’ and this group is another step toward the inclusion and celebration of everyone in our community. The task force is a very diverse and talented group of people who are enthusiastic about giving back to their community,” she added.

Members include Brandon Cheng, Carole Hasbun, Wassan Kasey, Beng Lui, Charles Norton, Kevin Vejar, Yee-Jen Shui, Sandra Troup and Vivi Wahl, as well as Vice Mayor Steve Talt, Jakubowski and Marlowe. Many of the community members have expressed their enthusiasm and goals of the task force.

“It was during the pandemic that I became even more acutely aware of the inequalities in our community,” Lui said. “I’ve always been passionate about addressing issues around food insecurity and now I have an opportunity to serve my community and address issues of equity and inclusion.”

“Diversity is a community’s greatest strength,” Norton said, “so I am pleased to support San Marino’s DEI task force in exploring innovative ways to enhance our treasured environment.”

Kasey said, “You literally cannot have community without inclusion. Maintaining and enhancing equity and inclusion can help strengthen the bond within a community. Creating an inclusive environment can help a community’s culture thrive.”

Vejar quoted legendary football coach Vince Lombardi when assessing the significance of his service on the task force.

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a teamwork, a company work, a society work, a civilization work,” Vejar said.

Cheng said, “I am so honored and excited to be a part of the city of San Marino’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force because I believe it is imperative that every community member be cherished, welcomed, respected and heard for who they are. More than ever, now is the time for San Marino to recognize the challenges it faces as a contemporary city and set an example for communities all across the country in its efforts to be more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.”

“I’ve always been a peacemaker,” Shui said as he explained his excitement about serving on the task force. “It’s not a racial issue; it’s a human issue.”

Troup said she believes that now is the time to “lead by example” when it comes to making the city a welcoming and inclusive community. “Racism begins with the family,” Troup said. “You are not taught; you are shown. It’s time that we speak out.”

“I never knew that there were opportunities like this to serve my community. I’m excited to step up and promote equity and inclusion for all people living in our community,” Wahl said.

Hasbun said, “I look forward to being a part of this task force to explore unconscious bias and how it impacts our community and interpersonal relationships.”

The task force has been holding meetings since March and is expected to complete its work this summer.       


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