Good for Oak Park’s village board for beginning its three-part training in cultural competency during a public meeting on June 26. And, positively, the training sessions will be led by Danielle Walker, the village government’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
After many years when the leadership of the village — both elected and appointed — was content offering lip service toward vague notions of equity, the current board, under the leadership of Village President Vicki Scaman, has made this effort far more genuine. The cultural competency training reflects that, as does Walker’s hiring into this key post.
The serious work underway related to policing and safety reflected in a serious consultant’s report, expanded authority for a citizen commission, the hiring of Chief Shatonya Johnson and the recent focus by a task force on mental health and policing, all indicate a sincere and determined effort to move forward.
We’ll be watching and reporting on the next two installments of the board’s training.