Employee Resources

Message From County Administrator

Published:  June 5, 2020

Dear County Employees, 

Yesterday, George Floyd’s family said goodbye forever to the man they loved.  George died as a police officer planted a knee onto his neck for several minutes cutting off his ability to breathe and ultimately killing him, while he laid face down on the street in handcuffs.  George was only 46.  Floyd’s death has sparked protests across our community, the state, the nation and the world demanding an end to systemic racism. 

About 9 months ago, a friend recommended that I read the book“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” by Robin DiAngelo.  For me, it was very enlightening.  It helped me understand that it is essential to have conversations about racism.  As a white woman who grew up with white privileges, it is hard for me to truly imagine what it is feels like to live in this world as a person of color.  The severe oppression and outright racism must be overwhelmingly debilitating for those who experience it directly.  While we can all agree that overt racism has no place in our community, it is the unconscious racial bias that is still pervasive yet invisible to so many of us who are born with “white privileges”.   The only way to address our inherent biases is to have honest conversations about them.   Without acknowledging our biases, we will never be able to change systems that continue to fuel racial disparities.

The time is now.  We must confront this issue and work together to overcome the racial and social injustices in our own community.  In January of this year, the Board of Supervisors developed an initial framework for a long-term strategic plan, which includes Racial Equity as one of five strategic pillars.  I am honored to work with so many passionate employees in our organization who helped to champion this critical work.  I hope you join me in vowing to stand up and talk about these issues.  Silence has no place in this long overdue conversation.  

Stay strong,
Sheryl

Sheryl Bratton
County Administrator

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