City of Bremerton Moves Forward on Building Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Program
City Hires Consultants to Gather Input, Shape First-ever DEI Program for Its Operations
Mayor Greg Wheeler announced today that the City of Bremerton is moving forward on efforts to create a first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program for City operations. Mayor Wheeler issued the following statement on creating the new DEI program for the City:
“The City of Bremerton has the most diverse population in Kitsap County. It’s imperative that we are dedicated to ensuring our workforce and our practices represent the broader community and that we provide a wide range of economic, career and other opportunities which supports a diverse workplace and our residents.
As part of the commitment to that goal, the City added a full-time Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) position to the City’s 2023 budget to lead the City’s DEI implementation efforts. An experienced, external consultant was hired to provide strategic planning and recommendations in the development of DEI-focused objectives along with crafting a position description for the DEI role.
Beginning in January 2023, I worked with an advisory group of community leaders to develop a request for proposals (RFP) for a consultant with DEI expertise to assist the City in establishing the full-time Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion position. The community leaders who all played a crucial role in the process included Anthony Ives, Executive Director of Kitsap Community Resources; Jill Stanton, Executive Director of Bremerton Housing Authority; Jessica Guidry, Kitsap Public Health District Equity Program Manager; Pastor Richmond Johnson, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church; Dr. Lillian Lockett Robertson, Physician and Executive Director of the Marvin Williams Center; Martitha May, Parent Child NFP Community Health Worker, Kitsap Public Health District; Alyson Rotter, former Kitsap Strong Co-Director; and Lucretia Robertson, Principal and Founder of Clarity Partnerships.
The advisory group worked together to create a scope of work for the RFP along with a proposal-rating criteria with the goal of positioning the potential incumbent for success. The advisory group determined that the scope of work should center around stakeholder engagement -- both internal engagement with City employees and external engagement with community members -- that would inform a strategic plan and that coordinates the City’s DEI efforts, including a recommended job description and recruitment process for the City’s new DEI position, and would recommend support and resources necessary for the new DEI position’s work with the Race Equity Advisory Commission.
After reviewing three responsive proposals, MFR Coaching and Consulting was selected for this project. MFR Coaching and Consulting was chosen because of their in-depth expertise partnering with organizations to build capacity for DEI and culture change through a human-centered approach with staff, leaders, and stakeholders in the community. The City also hired Lucretia Robertson of Clarity Partnerships as project manager on the City’s behalf. Ms. Robertson has ties to Bremerton, expertise working as a DEI professional, and will liaise with the project consultant to support project objectives. She will be able to leverage community connections and ensure the project stays on track. MFR Coaching and Consulting and Ms. Robertson were hired based on their in-depth expertise and involvement with DEI plans for other organizations and their people-focused approach working with employees and community stakeholders.
As the next step, MFR Coaching and Consulting will hold facilitated dialogues with both employees and the community to obtain feedback and input that will inform the City’s DEI Strategic Plan.
We look forward to beginning this process and working with our staff, leaders and the community to advance our DEI efforts within the City.”