HT Local News

Brookhaven establishes Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission

By Zachary Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Brookhaven is expanding its efforts to combat discrimination by establishing a commission to address race, diversity, social justice and equality.

The Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission will review the city’s policies, procedures and public engagement as well as look into Brookhaven police’s use of force policy. It was unanimously approved at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Councilwoman Madeleine Simmons, who introduced the resolution, said the commission is an opportunity to further the cause of racial equality beyond the current moment of protestsover police brutality and racism.

“They’re sometimes uncomfortable for people to discuss, but they’re conversations that we have to have,” Simmons said at the meeting.

She, along with City Planning Commission Vice Chair John J. Funny, presented the framework for the new commission earlier in September. Simmons credited Funny, who is also on the board of the Brookhaven Police Department, with coming up with the idea during a June town hall.

“This is a unique opportunity for the City of Brookhaven to begin examining many facets of the city and the community to enhance the city even further,” Funny said during Tuesday’s meeting.

He was also chosen to chair the new committee. The other members of the committee will be chosen during an Oct. 13 Council meeting. City leaders said they plan to include representatives from the faith, education and business communities with varying ages and perspectives, according to a news release.

Members will sit on the commission for one year, will meet monthly and will provide periodic updates to the City Council. The seats are unpaid positions.