Tybee Island passes race equity resolution

*(source: WTOC)
Updated: Jul. 12, 2020 at 12:03 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) -In response to calls for racial justice across the country, Tybee Island City Council passed a race resolution promoting justice and racial equality in the city.

The city will be moving forward with an alternative resolution that addresses the city’s history and more following a Thursday night council meeting.

According to the resolution, the city will place historic displays at Lazaretto Creek and other places and add a section to the city’s website on the island’s racial, ethnic, and religious past.

The city will declare Juneteenth a city holiday and city employees will also have to go through diversity, implicit bias, and equity training.

In addition to that, a third party will conduct an annual review of the city’s arrest, sentencing, and use of force data.

The TybeeMLK Human Rights Organization worked alongside Councilwoman Nancy DeVetter in putting this resolution together.

“I’m really happy with the result. What I didn’t want to do was to make a statement just to make a statement.”

Tybee City Councilwoman Nancy DeVetter has been on the city council since January. She says race equity is a personal issue for her.

“This is something I’ve been aware of and working against for a long time,” she said. “And now that we’re having this national conversation about these huge issues, we’re talking about race equity and lifting black voices and people of color’s discriminatory treatment. I think it was a great time to have that conversation on Tybee. And it’s not an easy conversation to have.”

“What we were asking is that history be documented,” said Julia Pearce, a coordinator with TybeeMLK Human Rights Organization. “We have historical markers of that history, that we talk about that history, that the children should know about that history. That when we talk about Tybee, that should be a part of Tybee history. And so, those don’t seem like revolutionary things, however, they are because in 133 years, the story has never been told.”

Councilwoman DeVetter says council will be meeting in August to talk about how to implement the resolution.

“I think for a city to step up and say we’re going to address this, we’re going to do something, I think it’s really important so I think so I’m happy that we did that.

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