November 18, 2017
Politics & Opinion
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Anne Arundel United

Steve Schuh
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November 3, 2017

Earlier this fall at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, our administration unveiled Anne Arundel United, a proactive community initiative to unite the county against hatred and build greater understanding.

Our goal is simple. We need to embrace and promote understanding among all our citizens. The Anne Arundel United initiative is new tool we will use as we try to proactively engage every community here. This new unity initiative is essentially a community outreach campaign, overseen by Minority Outreach Officer Derek Matthews, to engage every citizen and community in the fight against hatred.

Right now, we are in the beginning stages of forming a community ambassador program charged with addressing incidents of racial controversy and bringing communities together to better understand one another’s viewpoints. Educational materials will also be made available to educational institutions and community organizations. Online, we’ll sponsor social media campaigns encouraging engagement, building better community interaction, and celebrating understanding.

As part of our overall effort to strengthen the bonds of community in our jurisdiction, we have also announced several other initiatives meant to build greater understanding, including:

Expanding Minority Recruitment in County Government: Through the minority outreach officer, the county will expand its minority recruitment efforts beyond public safety to all executive departments. Offices and commissions under the control of the county executive will aggressively work to create marketing campaigns that build a county government reflective of those they serve.

Mandating Comprehensive Diversity Training for All County Employees: The compliance officer will be charged with conducting a county government comprehensive diversity training program that will help build better understanding in the county workforce with the goal of training the county’s more than 6,000 employees within 24 months.

Support for Immigrant Communities: Former grants administrator and Hispanic community leader Maria Casasco will become the director of immigration and multicultural affairs and will promote the stability and well-being of immigrant and multicultural communities by identifying programs and ensuring access to services and resources that facilitate success.

To build awareness of the Anne Arundel United effort, the county also released two video public service announcements and a comprehensive human relations plan, all which can be found at www.aacounty.org. I encourage all of our citizens to go online and find out how they can become involved.


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