Salem Receives $80,000 in State Grants to Advance Two Equity Projects

Initiatives focus on equity and diversity in City processes and workforce

The City of Salem has been awarded $80,000 in two Community Compact Grants from the Commonwealth. The grants, $40,000 each, are from the Best Practices Program and will fund two critical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) projects: an Equity Audit and an initiative through the City’s Human Resources Department related to the recruitment and retention of a more representative workforce. The City has two years to complete the projects.

Equity Audit

The City will examine barriers to equitable representation in City processes such as planning and procurement. The Equity Audit will address barriers to equitable representation, participation, access, and opportunity for all residents in the Salem community.

Human Resources – Recruitment and Retention of a Representative Workforce

The City will develop a plan to guide its Human Resources Department to build a workforce that better represents the community in Salem. This includes a model for policies and procedures to be adopted.

“Thanks to the Best Practices Program partnership, these grants will help us address systemic barriers to equitable representation in the City of Salem,” said Regina Zaragoza Frey, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director for the City of Salem. “Salem strives to represent the community we serve and reflect its diversity among City staff. These two projects will help us identify the barriers to equitable representation in government processes and remove barriers that perpetuate institutional oppression. This is a significant step in guiding the City’s DEI work in years to come.”

“Both of these efforts, the Equity Audit and the Representative Workforce strategic plan, are major priorities identified by our DEI Director and by the action plan developed by the Race Equity Task Force,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “As a community deeply commitment to embedding equity and inclusion in our own practices, policies, and personnel, I am grateful to the Baker-Polito administration for these two grants and appreciative of the hard work that went into the applications for them by Regina and our City staff.”