The city of Burlington has hired its first director of racial equity.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announced Thursday that Tyeastia Green would be appointed to the post.
Green currently works for the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, on racial equity and inclusion, a role she has held since 2015. In Burlington, her job will focus on racial equity, inclusion and belonging.
During her time in Bloomington, Green helped establish the city’s Racial Equity Toolkit, a document that ensures city decisions consider racial equity. Green also developed a “Start Seeing Color” campaign, and holds a graduate degree in public affairs-antiracism/racial social justice and public policy from the University of Minnesota.
Green said that she was excited about the position because of its focus on inclusion.
“I understand that being a part of the Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) community is not monolithic,” Green said. “We are all striving individually and collectively for equality and equity. Because of that, I want to use my leadership to be an influencer to change the narrative. I want to change how race is used as being a detriment to being used as an asset.”
The City Council unanimously voted to create the position in July 2019. Before, diversity and equity initiatives were spearheaded by a core group of city staffers and community members.
But the mayor and City Council decided to create the position to have a single individual dedicated to the work.
“The position of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director was conceived of in order to create a single point of contact and accountability for racial justice initiatives within the administration, and charge one person with a mandate and capacity to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives day in and day out,” the city’s press release states.
Weinberger was excited about the appointment in welcoming Green to the city.
“Breaking down the barriers of institutional racism and implicit bias requires hard, detailed, and sustained organizational work,” Weinberger said. “The creation of this role represents a milestone in the City’s decades of efforts to advance equity.”
Green is set to start April 6.
Missing out on the latest scoop? Sign up here to get a weekly email with all of VTDigger's reporting on politics. And in case you can't get enough of the Statehouse, sign up for Final Reading for a rundown on the day's news in the Legislature.