Mayor Leroy Sullivan launches committee on equity, inclusion, and social justice

Staff report
Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan announced the new Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice last week. 
File photo by Michael Tortorich

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan announced July 3 the creation of the volunteer Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice.

The committee is aimed at creating an equitable, inclusive, and just environment that welcomes and empowers all members of our community, according to a release from the city’s Director of Community and Economic Development office, Lee Melancon.

The committee will play a key role in carrying out future planning for the City of Donaldsonville.

“As our city’s motto states, we have a desire to ‘Respect our Past’ while ‘Building the Future,’” Mayor Sullivan said. “The Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice will be aimed at promoting equity, inclusion, and social justice within every aspect of the city’s municipal administration, ordinances, residential, and business environments.”

To advance these efforts, the committee will work to identify proactive, sustainable strategies to generate and institutionalize attention to equity and inclusion in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, political affiliations, class, age, color, size, sexual orientation, ability, immigrant status, and national origin.

The committee, using innovative best practices, will create the infrastructure to address inequalities arising from any differential distribution of power, resources, and privilege in the city, and to support initiatives that enable citizens to be more educated on the city’s historical footprint as well as engage social change leading to a more just and inclusive society.

“With the climate existing today in America, I , as well as my community advisors felt it was the right decision to educate our community and the region about the rich culture and history that Donaldsonville has and to ensure the myths associated with our community are proven untrue,” he said. “We are proud of our heritage and will not allow others’ agendas to diminish our success and our plan for the future.”

The committee, led by a group of community volunteers, will identify possible changes to address equity and inclusion concerns and to forward broader community-wide policy and practices to be submitted to the Donaldsonville council and leadership for consideration.

“We want our committee to be composed of volunteers that is a representative reflection of the demographics of our city, but we will emphasize a younger audience to drive the future

vision for the City of Donaldsonville. Strong efforts have already been made to ensure the committee reflects the broad range of diverse experience and backgrounds represented in our community. The committee will be self-led and will meet as regularly as needed to provide information on their work as well as an annual plan and report to the administration, so we can work together to take action.”

Committee membership is now open, and volunteers are being solicited. To get more information or to become a part of the committee, e-mail Melancon at lee@visitdonaldsonville.org or call (225) 473-4247 ext. 8 and speak with the Mayor’s office.