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News Archive

May 23, 2018

Boulder County leaders pursue learning centered around the county’s guiding value of Inclusion

Contact: Barb Halpin, Public Information Officer, Boulder County Commissioners' Office, 303-441-1622

Elected officials and department heads participated in a day-long workshop to explore ways of establishing and maintaining inclusive practices and fostering more equitable working relationships, programming, and team cultures within Boulder County Government.

(Boulder County, Colo. -- May 23, 2018) -- On Tuesday, the leadership of Boulder County, including elected officials and department heads, took part in an Anti-Oppression and Inclusiveness workshop led by facilitator Lynne Sprague.

The day-long workshop was designed as a day of learning around how thought leaders in Boulder County can begin to shift the dynamics of power, privilege, and oppression that influence our work and communities. As part of the workshop, the participants explored how to establish and maintain inclusive practices and foster more equitable working relationships, programming, and team cultures.

“The workshop was incredibly motivating and inspirational,” said County Commissioner Elise Jones who joined fellow commissioners Cindy Domenico and Deb Gardner and other elected officials in the full-day exercise. “All of us left wanting to keep the momentum going and get a jump start on our next steps in the process.”

County leadership’s participation helps demonstrate how throughout the county structure, important work is taking place to make Boulder County a more inclusive, respectful, and responsive community. It is also just one of many recent steps the county has taken to demonstrate its vision for inclusion and cultural responsiveness:

“We are a county government that embraces dignity and equity for everyone, we create and cultivate an inclusive and supportive environment for our diverse staff and community, and we inspire others through leadership in culturally responsive practices."

Boulder County has embraced the belief that inclusion work must be done through an authentic commitment to internal policy review, hiring and management practices, communication, trainings, and the meaningful celebration of diversity.

In 2016, after robust input from county employees, the Boulder County Commissioners adopted the Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion Road Map in order to increase diversity and inclusive practices within Boulder County.

An internal Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion Advisory Committee (CRIAC) was formed from that road map and a diversity and inclusion manager was hired to shepherd the process of implementing the changes needed around the five priority areas of: Accountability, Leadership, Training, Policy and Sustainability, and Recruitment, Hiring and Retention.

To achieve the county’s goal of assuring that the county is living up to its values of diversity and inclusivity, each of the county’s elected and appointed leaders has affirmed their commitment to helping actualize a culturally responsive and inclusive environment for all.

Facilitator, Lynne Sprague, has worked with organizations and communities as they've built, shifted, and deepened their work to better achieve their mission and live into their values.

Boulder County is working with Lynne and other presenters to promote a series of educational sessions for all levels of county government that we hope will spur dialogue among employees and elected officials, and emphasize the importance of these concepts and approaches to our long term success as a county.

In addition to offering workshops like yesterday's to all county staff, the county also recently refreshed its Guiding Values and created “We Are Boulder County” signs (both shown below) which are displayed throughout the county’s public and internal (employee) spaces.

Boulder County's list of seven Guiding Values

We are Boulder County signs in English and Spanish