APPLETON, Wis. (WFR) In a shocking turn of events, the proposal to eliminate Appleton’s diversity and inclusion position was not introduced in Wednesday’s special council meeting.
Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna confirmed that an unnamed alderperson decided not to move forward with his proposal.
Alderperson Matt Reed reportedly planned to introduce a proposal to eliminate the position currently held by Karen Nelson.
The diversity coordinator facilitates the inclusion of those who may experience discrimination based on race, disability or sexual orientation.
This staff position is used as a development and recruitment tool for the city of Appleton.
Appleton’s current Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Karen Nelson says, “Some people think that diversity is just a good thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do because it does add to Appleton’s economic growth.”
Kathy Flores was Appleton’s previous coordinator. She is now the Director of Diverse & Resilient and agrees that “the big corporations like Kimberly Clark and ThedaCare are all looking to retain a stronger more diverse workforce and with this position working hand in hand with those businesses. There’s a chance that we can retain more people.”
This position was established in 1997 and reports directly to the mayor of Appleton.