Gov. Herbert signs compact to help develop racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — Gov. Herbert, along with Utah community leaders, signed a compact designed to lay the foundation of improving racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in Utah Tuesday.

“This compact signifies our commitment as leaders, policymakers, and influencers, to do what we can to establish a more racially equitable state,” Gov. Herbert said in a Facebook post.

Governor Herbert introduced the compact at a ceremony on the south steps of the Utah State Capitol. He began his speech by referencing Martin Luth King’s “I have a dream” speech.

He added that people now have an opportunity to fulfill the dream that Martin Luther King talked about.

“Sadly as we look at 2020 and the challenges that we have faced in 2020, of which there are many, we still see that we have a long way to go as was mentioned, the killing of George Floyd and other significant events that have happened this year have reminded us that we have not gotten to the promised land yet. We are not where we wanted to be or where we should be. Racism and bigotry still exist, Gov Herbert said. “

Gov. Gary Herbert told the audience that he met with African American Community leaders and listened to personal stories of experiencing racism in Utah and promised policy changes.

He added that the meeting caused him to look in himself and ask, “What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong ?”

In the meeting, Gov Herbert added that the community leaders spoke about moving beyond aspirational dialogue.

Gov Herbert outlined some of the things he and his administration have done thus far to try and create more racial equality in the state. He added however that this is a start and a step in the right direction.

Gov Herbert told the audience, “We must act, we cant sit back and ignore the problem as if somehow it will magically go away. We need to be bold, we need to increase our dialogue with our communities of color, we need to have discussions and better understanding. Sometimes we need to listen so that we can learn, and understand so that we can be understood. and we must do it now.”

Gov. Herbert said the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is aimed at accelerating the forward momentum in ending racism, promoting equality, and making Utah more inclusive.

The compact invites other Utahns to commit to the anti-racist principles and actions mentioned below:

1. Acknowledgement and action – We acknowledge that racism exists, and our actions make a difference. We call out racism wherever we see it and take purposeful steps to stop it.

2. Investment – We invest our time and resources to create greater opportunity for people of color. Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities requires our significant effort and investment.

3. Public policies and listening – We advance solutions to racial ills by listening and creating policies that provide equal opportunity and access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare.

4. Engagement – We engage to effect change. Broader engagement, equitable representation, and deeper connection across social, cultural, and racial lines will uphold the principle – “nothing about us, without us.”

5. Movement, not a moment – Utahns unite behind a common goal to create equal opportunity. We affirm our commitment will not just be a passing moment, but a legacy movement of social, racial, and economic justice.

Read the full Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion here.

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