July 31, 2020
City Manager Alan Piombo announced today that he, along with Mayor Sashi McEntee and Councilmember Tricia Ossa, has engaged Patricia Patton, Ph.D, to design and facilitate the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force.
Dr. Patton will guide the Task Force in engaging community members and key stakeholders in a variety of activities and recommend solutions for addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues with a specific emphasis on Black Lives Matter, racial injustices, and inequities in Mill Valley.
“Dr. Patton brings deep expertise in the subject matter and demonstrated her ability to immediately identify our challenges and propose a strategic process to move forward,” Mayor McEntee said. “She has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and I think she will be a tremendous resource for our community.”
“I appreciate that Dr. Patton prioritizes seeking wide public input, especially marginalized voices, proposing forums that will engage community members in sharing their experiences,” Councilmember Ossa said. “She also recognizes the outpouring of interest in our community and wants to create multiple pathways for meaningful engagement.”
Patton, who received her doctorate in Education from Michigan State University, has worked in education, nonprofit, and corporate settings in the US and abroad for more than 20 years. She is a highly experienced facilitator, executive coach, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, and has worked extensively in building community relationships in her different professional roles. Click here to see more about Dr. Patton’s professional background.
“Our very humanity is a function of our ability to join together in solidarity around the ideal of, if one person is denied their inalienable rights to live with dignity, authenticity, respect, and the ability to turn their dreams into reality, we must band together in unison to right these wrongs," Dr. Patton said. "Together, we turn conversations into actions that power toward common goals of racial equity and justice, while chasing away racism and anything that divides us. As the saint, John Lewis, who was a social activist and civil rights leader taught us, we must engage in 'Good Trouble' that will make our country finally what our ancestors died and lived for, a chance to finally take a ‘40 acres and a mule’ and build it into a life well lived."
Next steps include organizing a representative group of community members who are committed to working together and creating forums for community members to share their experiences, recommendations, and proposed solutions for addressing the issues of inequities and injustices affecting Black and people of color in Mill Valley. A key aspect to the formation of the Task Force will be representation of minority groups, advocacy group members, and other residents who give voice to the wider community.
Other upcoming actions include the finalization of the Professional Service Agreement (PSA) between the City and Dr. Patton, which will include the Scope of Work and compensation. The PSA will be finalized next week.
At the City Council meeting on August 3, 2020, the City Manager will announce the appointment of Dr. Patton and she will be introduced to the community at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
We welcome Dr. Patton to Mill Valley and look forward to working with her in the months to come!
For more information on DEI initiatives, please visit www.cityofmillvalley.org/dei.