Equity & Inclusion Design Team

The City of Amesbury is committed to creating a workplace and community that is equitable and inclusive for all. Since November 2020, Mayor Kassandra Gove has been meeting with a small group of residents with varying levels of experience with social and racial justice issues. The group is facilitated (pro bono) by Louise Delasi of DeCava Consulting.

Design Team Purpose

The E&I Design Team is charged with developing and overseeing a process to identify and recommend solutions to the key systemic racism issues impacting the residents of Amesbury.

E&I Design Team Members

  • Mayor Kassandra Gove
  • Samuel Cadwell, Amesbury High School student (Class of 2021)
  • Rachel Gilbert, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager | Principal, Woodard and Curran
  • Lyndsey Haight, Director, Our Neighbors' Table
  • Debra Hickok, CPCC, PCC, Coach, Counselor, Facilitator
  • Lyn Jacques, Director of Teaching and Learning, Amesbury Public Schools
  • Floris Pamphile, Landlord Liaison, Pine Street Inn
  • Kate Slater, PhD., Anti-Racist Scholar and Educator

Group Discussion & Topics

Group discussion and topics have included:

  • Defining and better understanding racial inequity.
  • Understanding how people experience discrimination.
  • Identify ways in which we can be more equitable as a community.
  • Coming together as a team regarding a shared lens and language being used for this process.
  • Identifying the data needed to learn more about equity and inequity in Amesbury.
  • Identifying the numerous and varying stakeholders who are affected by racial inequity in Amesbury.
  • Agreeing on the first actionable step to be taken in the community.

The group watched educational resources, which we encourage Amesbury residents to watch as well to get a basic understanding of this topic:

The group created a comprehensive list of stakeholders who would be critical to help us achieve racial equality in Amesbury, and worked through the various states of each group including their importance, the current state and data needed, key questions to better understand the current state, and data gathering methods. Some of the key stakeholders that were identified include: government employees, elected officials, police, housing authority, healthcare, educational institutions, social support network, businesses, banks, landlords, brokers, school age children, seniors, faith based communities, and people with special needs.

After creating this list of stakeholders, the group looked to see which groups we can truly influence and where we can make sustainable, systemic change. The group made the recommendation to start with government employees, which will impact our entire community as City staff are on the front lines working with residents, business owners and visitors to Amesbury. We will work to develop an equity lens which we will use in every aspect of what we do for the community. The change we create at the City level will be felt and seen throughout our community as policies are updated, projects are viewed through a new lens, and we work to make Amesbury even more inclusive, welcoming and equitable.

City Initiatives

Based on the recommendations of the Design Team and with Mayor Gove's vision, the City is working to implement the following initiatives:

  • Mayor Gove hired the City's first Human Resources Coordinator, who is updating our hiring practices and expanding recruitment methods to diversify our candidate pool.
  • Equity and Inclusion training for all City Department Heads, working to educate our leaders on creating and nurturing teams who are diverse, open and inclusive. 
  • Educating and creating a diverse team means they will be able to better serve everyone in our community.
  • Creating Employee Resources Groups (ERGs), including one for Equity and Inclusion, where City staff can come together and be actively involved in policy, process and outreach to the community.
  • The Amesbury Public Library is planning anti-racism programs, including a series for the fall of 2021.