Fort Collins Leaders Support New Initiative on Racial Equity

A new initiative on racial equity in Fort Collins called Our Commitment to Self and Society, has already drawn the support of many local government and faith community leaders. The initiative is the idea of Rev. David Williams, Pastor of the Abyssinian Christian Church in Fort Collins. He is joined on the executive committee of the project by Nina Rubin, LCSW, and Rabbi Hillel Katzir.

Local leaders who have joined the growing list of supporters of Our Commitment include Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt; Larimar County Commissioners John Kefalas and Kristen Stephens; and Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda.

Faith community leaders include Laura Nelson, President of the Fort Collins Area Interfaith Council; Rev. Gretchen Haley of Foothills Unitarian Church; Rev. Hal Chorpenning of Plymouth United Church of Christ; Rev. Melissa St. Clair of Heart of the Rockies Church; Rabbi Sally R. Finestone of Congregation Har Shalom; World Wisdoms Project; and David Stallings of the Fort Collins Bahai Community.

“Many people in Fort Collins have called me after events such as the murder of George Floyd a year ago, asking what they could do,” said Rev. Williams said. “I decided that it’s time to invite our Fort Collins communities to come together to look at where we are in racial equity in Fort Collins, where we would like to be, and how do we get there together.”

Rev. Williams said that the keys to this community project are transparency and accountability. “Our hope is that what we are starting now will become an integral part of life in Fort Collins, with regular public meetings to share what we are doing, and how we are progressing.”

The project is not limited to equity for African-Americans in Fort Collins. “The Latinx community, the Asian American community, indigenous people, LGBTQ people, the disabled – all who are part of our city but not always included as part of our community – are included in our goal of creating a Fort Collins that is truly a Choice City for all.”

Our Commitment to Self and Society will host a Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, June 29, at 7:00 pm. Anyone who is interested in being involved in this project is invited. Our Commitment asks those interested to RSVP by email to: info@ourcommitment.net.

According to Rev. Williams, “We are inviting everyone who lives or works in Fort Collins, as well as businesses, business leaders, faith communities and their leaders, non-profits, and local government leaders to join in this project. We are excited about bringing people together to begin this community-wide conversation.”

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