City to revisit equality-focused task force

During Tuesday’s virtual regular session, the Amarillo City Council is expected to receive an update regarding the progression of a citizen-based group targeting enhanced race relations, unity and equality here.

Mayor Ginger Nelson previously indicated the Task Force for Greatness would work to meet the city’s mission to create the best environment possible for every Amarillo resident to find and achieve their potential for greatness.

Initiatives include, per officials, developing a common language for communicating about racial equality; opening corridors of communication for difficult but necessary conversations; partnering with Amarillo businesses and academic entities; and collaborating with philanthropic organizations.

Short term task force goals, according to Council member Freda Powell, included creating a group understanding of racial equity and creating specific strategies around the charge while reaching out to community groups for early inclusion.

A 12-month timeline had been established, per officials, to identify areas of improvement and develop an outcomes measurement tool.

“I’m hopeful the task force can be a springboard for dialogue that can lead to meaningful progress along the race relations front,” Amarillo resident Simone Vilma said. “There’s no doubt there have been demands for change. The question remains whether we as a people are willing to acknowledge change is needed and act upon it.”

City officials indicated a 15-member group would be charged with starting the work while also anticipating the formation of varied sub-committees to assist.