Evers Names 30 Equity Council Members

Governor’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion appointees include leaders from nonprofits, tribes, churches, community groups.

By - Feb 2nd, 2021 02:34 pm
Rev. Alex Gee, pastor at Fountain of Life Covenant Church.

Rev. Alex Gee, pastor at Fountain of Life Covenant Church.

On the first day of Black History Month, Gov. Tony Evers is looking to ensure that the effort to rectify Wisconsin’s serious racial inequities will not end on Feb. 28.

The governor announced 30 appointments today to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion. The list of appointees includes leaders from nonprofits, tribes, churches, community organizations, educational institutions and state departments.

The chair of the council is Dawn Crim, secretary-designee of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), who wrote in today’s announcement: “We will work together to leverage our experience and expertise for the benefit of the entire state — because a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society truly does benefit all of us.”

The council is charged with guiding the governor, lieutenant governor and Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan to create a plan to “advance diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across Wisconsin state government.” The Council was created by Executive Order #59 in November 2019. 

Evers called upon the body to expand and build upon its previous work. “Our priority is and always has been building a Wisconsin that works for everyone, and in order to do that, we have to have a state government that reflects the people they serve,” the governor wrote. “Our agencies have done great work over the last two years to refocus the lens on equity and inclusion throughout the administration.”

Rev. Alex Gee, founder and CEO of Nehemiah Center of Urban Leadership and pastor at Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Madison, is one of the new appointees. “I’m excited about the opportunity to assist the governor and lieutenant governor of the state in this regard,” Gee tells Wisconsin Examiner. “ It was not a rushed knee-jerk reaction. They are really working to put something together that has teeth, that is not just a temporary fix.”

Gee, who leads popular Black history courses through Nehemiah’s Justified Anger project and hosts the podcast Black Like Mehas dedicated his career to unraveling systemic racism. “This kind of work is in my wheelhouse,” he says.

The announcement of the new appointees is an “impressive list” of people with deep roots in their communities, says Gee. “You don’t call this caliber of folks to the table just to rubber stamp things. These people have experience. This commission brings the brightest minds to the table, people who live these issues and address them professionally. That’s how you move forward.”

“Our state motto is ‘Forward,’” adds Gee. “And a motto like that needs action. Bringing forward diverse thinkers to the table to direct the state’s thinking like this is a good sign. I’m excited.” 

The Governor’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion will have its first meeting on Feb. 19.  

The following are the new appointees to the Advisory Council:

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

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