New Castle Council on Race and Equity: Special Listening Sessions

Please join the New Castle Council on Race & Equity (CRE) for a series of community Listening Sessions on Monday, July 6th and Tuesday, July 7th at 6:30 PM. Each night we will be welcoming your ideas, suggestions, and recommendations on four (4) specific topic areas. 

Both meetings will be held virtually on Zoom.  You will be able to participate from your computer, tablet, or smartphone - make sure you have at least speakers and a microphone connected to your computer, a web cam is optional.

To register, click on the link for the meeting(s) you want to attend:

Monday, July 6th, 6:30PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zc4K_ctuTjqSbHW5NImV2A

Tuesday, July 7th, 6:30PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WtLOm1qhSM-nTKdubq6oFg

As the CRE commences its work this summer on a comprehensive plan to promote racial equity, inclusion and harmony in New Castle, we are eager to hear community ideas and recommendations on the following topics: 

Monday, July 6th - Session One

TOPIC 1: Community Education 

Leveraging the library, PTA groups, student organizations and other educational resources to facilitate greater action as well as understanding and awareness of racial equity and social justice in the New Castle Community 

Questions to consider: 

  • How can we involve students and parents in committing to anti-racist efforts? 
  • How can we support increased the number of people of color in leadership roles? 
  • How can we encourage and promote diversity in local educational resources? 
  • What additional resources/extracurricular programs should we be looking at to ensure greater education on the topic of racial equity in our schools and our community at large? 

TOPIC 2: Community Partnerships 

Building bridges with hospitals, nonprofits, environmental groups, emergency services, police, ambulance, interfaith organizations, and any other partner entities that would help promote our mission to achieve sustainable racial equity in New Castle 

Questions to consider: 

  • What types of educational opportunities should be incorporated into on-boarding activities for community leaders to better understand the backgrounds of different populations they serve? 
  • How can we encourage better representation of BIPOC in community partner organizations? Specific internships or mentoring relationships? 
  • For New Castle law enforcement what training is currently provided addressing unconscious bias, excessive use of force and general over-policing towards BIPOC? 
  • How do we ensure that consequences are proportional to the offense regardless of the race of the offender?  

TOPIC 3: Business & Commerce 

Attracting more diverse businesses to the area, increasing supplier diversity, improving and having more targeted budget allocations, creating a more diverse ecosystem for commerce and trade, filling gaps in town businesses, and fulfilling unmet needs as it pertains to type of businesses in demand for New Castle residents. 

Questions to consider: 

  • What are some products/services our town is missing? 
  • What factors contribute to you going elsewhere for products or services (even those present within our town?) 
  • What are some incentives/initiatives we can roll out to attract diverse businesses to New Castle? 
  • How do we advocate and facilitate equal representation and success of BIPOC businesses in New Castle? 
  • How do we promote existing BIPOC owned businesses in New Castle?

TOPIC 4: Events & Programs 

Planning of programs (arts, cultural, historical, etc) to bring to New Castle to honor BIPOC culture, the culture of many of our town's residents. Fundraisers, drives, special camps, events in conjunction with parks etc. 

Questions to consider: 

  • What existing events or programs would you like to see have more of a racial equity and/or socio-economic diversity lens?
  • Are there any events/programs you have heard of, or experienced, that you think can effectively communicate or kickstart our CRE goals? 
  • What are events we can offer to attract those audiences that may not necessarily be attracted to racial equity-related events/ BLM rallies, etc? 
  • How can we make our town events more racially inclusive? 

Tuesday, July 7th - Session Two

TOPIC 1: Housing & Planning 

Evaluation of current housing and planning policies and projects to determine if and how they should be revised to meet the CRE goals of promoting racial equity, inclusion and harmony. Creation of CRE guidelines for assessment of future projects 

Questions to consider: 

  • What factors regarding racial equity and inclusion should be applied when considering proposed residential and commercial projects for approval? 
  • Can our current zoning laws or other housing and planning policies be improved upon to support BIPOC residents and encourage diversity? 
  • Does the Town currently foster or discourage integration? 
  • How can we better promote community integration in New Castle? 

TOPIC 2: Community Outreach 

Establish effective ways to welcome, integrate and support new residents/families of New Castle from all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds 

Questions to consider: 

  • How can we properly welcome ALL new families to make sure they feel embraced in our community? 
  • When your family moved to Chappaqua, how were you welcomed into the community? 
  • What do you feel was missing from/offputting within the welcome efforts? 
  • What resources/supports were most helpful to you in your transition to the community? What resources/supports would you have liked to see offered? 
  • What is the best way to know about/ reach people in the community who might be struggling with this? 
  • Are there any BIPOC-specific welcome initiatives we should be considering? 

TOPIC 3: Town Administration 

Review of current policies and establishment of new policies to (1) promote diversity and inclusion at the town administration level and (2) encourage BIPOC resident participation in civic activities 

Questions to consider: 

  • If you are familiar with diversity initiatives implemented in your place of business, what are they and which do you believe have been most effective and why? How has success been measured? 
  • What are the barriers that keep residents from participating in civic activities? 
  • What personal and professional actions do you think our Town Administration and leaders can undertake to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion? 
  • How can the town administration demonstrate support for victims of bias incidents? 
  • What practices can be employed to attract and retain qualified and diverse talent to serve on our town board and as administrative appointments? 

TOPIC 4: Communications 

Implement effective means of communicating (1) within the community using inclusive and anti-racist language and ideals; (2) externally about New Castle’s commitment to racial equity; and (3) generally about CRE initiatives and accomplishments 

Questions to consider: 

  • Do you find town newsletters and communications to be inclusive of our entire community, both in content and wording? 
  • Do you think that Chappaqua should make its BIPOC related history more visible around town? 
  • How would you prefer to be kept informed regarding the progress of the CRE initiative? 
  • Would you be interested in helping to educate your neighbors about the CRE? 
  • What indicators will give you a sense that our community is making on progress on the right changes? 

CRE Co-Chairs Zabeen Mirza and Nichelle Maynard-Elliott will co-host with Town Supervisor, Ivy Pool, the two 90 minute sessions to solicit input from New Castle residents and constituents. Please be prepared to indicate the specific topic(s) you will address when you register electronically. We look forward to hearing from you! 


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