Salt Lake County mayor launches new campaign against discrimination

Posted at 8:02 PM, May 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-28 22:02:23-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- When you walk into the library or a a rec center or onto a golf course you may notice a new sign that reads: "Salt Lake County cares about all people."

The county mayor is launching a non-discrimination campaign with the goal of educating its employees on being inclusive.

“What we are trying not to do is not react to issues of discrimination, but let's be proactive,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams “Let's recognize it's something we can talk about. We can talk about our diversity in a way that helps to tear down walls and stereotypes and helps our county.”

Nearly 2,400 county employees will have to take part in the hour-long diversity class, which confronts issues of discrimination based on race, gender, lifestyle and age.

“We've got to have a way for people to know when they come into the county it is a safe place, I think all these other issues that are coming up are just something that's coming up anyway,” said Rebecca Sanchez, who is the director for the Mayor's Office of Diversity Affairs. “I think it's a time when people are saying 'you know what? Can't we be inclusive, can't we have an understanding of one another?'”

Maureen Richardson has already gone through the training. She expects employees will benefit from it as much as the public.

“It makes you realize your personal biases and it makes you a little bit uncomfortable,” she said. “And it makes you realize how others might feel in other situations that you maybe aren't exposed to or not accustomed to.”

Within the month, you'll start seeing the welcome sign in the window of county buildings, which means everyone in that department has undergone training.