Message from Ogden’s Diversity Affairs Coordinator

BY CJ HERNANDEZ

I am thrilled to join Ogden City government as the Diversity Affairs Coordinator. My journey here has been a circular one. I was born and raised in Weber County and started my career at Hill Air Force Base. Most recently, I retired from the Foreign Service where I served in Mexico, Washington D.C., Hungary, Germany, and Los Angeles. Living abroad gave me the outsider experience where I did not understand the culture nor fluently speak the language, and, at times, I was a racial minority. Family ties and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities called me home to Ogden.

So, what does a Diversity Affairs Coordinator do? I suppose that the first question is what is diversity?

Diversity goes beyond race, abilities, gender, age and sexual preferences—it is what differentiates one person from another. We all have our own stories, strengths, and challenges. Being open to diversity is to recognize, respect, and value multiple perspectives, realizing that not everyone’s experience is like yours. The next step is to be an ally to those who are different from you. Attend community events that celebrate different heritages. Read books written by diverse authors. Seek to understand what others may experience as a marginalized group. Advocate for equity of opportunity—do not assume that everyone has the same starting place in life.

Did you know that Ogden has a Diversity Charter? It states, “We envision an Ogden where everyone experiences belonging, fairness, fundamental freedoms, and human rights.”

Ogden also has a very active Diversity Commission comprised of eleven volunteer community members focused on ensuring equitable access to services, resources, and programs for all people.

I am eager to work with internal city audiences and the community to help realize an Ogden that is inclusive and welcoming. COME JOIN US!

SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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