San Mateo virtual series invites dialogue on racial equity

in Community

Amid nationwide calls for racial justice, the City of San Mateo and Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center are unveiling a series of free, virtual conversations and workshops in December surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Following a tumultuous year and a divisive election, we want to create a space for our community to come together for dialogue, learning and healing,” stated organizers about the “Workshop & Event Series.” “Join us as we unite San Mateo by reflecting on who we are as a community and how we can become more tolerant.” Organizers added that the series is intended to be an interactive and engaging dialogue on diversity, equity and inclusion.

The series kicks off Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. with “Film & Dialogue: Exploring Identities & Addressing Bias,” which organizers say will include “an evening of deep dialogue and reflection regarding identities, social inequities and race.” As part of the evening, short films will be shown, followed by breakout room discussions. To register click here.

On Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6:30-8 p.m., the “Implicit Bias Workshop” will center on defining and understanding implicit bias and identifying “practical interpersonal approaches to minimize and begin exploring and addressing implicit bias,” per organizers. To register, click here.

The third virtual offering will be the “Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop” on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 6:30-8 p.m. and will encompass “an interactive training that empowers individuals and professionals to break down the barriers of division and to cultivate diversity through the lens of Cultural Humility principles and practices,” according to organizers. To register, click here.

Community members are welcome to participate in multiple workshops. Space for the Workshop & Event Series is limited and advanced registration is required. Spanish interpretation will be available for participants. For more info about the virtual Workshop & Event Series, click here.

The series is aligned with myriad efforts the City of San Mateo has taken on the heels of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis while in police custody and widespread demands for racial justice.

In April of this year, the San Mateo City Council adopted a resolution to denounce stigmatization, hateful racism and xenophobia in the wake of Asian Americans and immigrant communities being targeted by xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiments and racism, according to the City’s website.

The San Mateo City Council followed that action up in July with another resolution declaring that black lives matter, and reaffirming the City’s commitment to racial equality, per the City. They also hosted two study sessions on policing, budgeting and use of force policies, which can be watched here.

For its part, the San Mateo Police Department launched a “Real Talk San Mateo” series to discuss policing there, while also establishing an accountability web page. And recently, the City established a new internal Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee that will incorporate DEI principals and best practices regarding hiring and recruiting for public sector careers so that they represent everyone, per the City’s website.

Photo credited to City of San Mateo