NENA Creates Diversity Committee
Thursday, August 06, 2020 | Comments

America’s 9-1-1 professionals are coming together to demonstrate their continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, starting with the formation of a task force to examine these issues within National Emergency Number Association and the greater 9-1-1 community.

NENA is accepting applications for its new Diversity & Inclusion Special Committee, which will explore how NENA, as an organization, and 9-1-1, as a public-safety service, can better support underrepresented populations in this field.

“NENA strives to be an association where everyone is welcome, included, heard and respected,” said NENA President Gary Bell, ENP. "With the creation of this special committee, NENA members have a significant opportunity to be part of a dialogue that leads to tangible improvements in both the services we provide to our members and the emergency assistance that 9-1-1 provides to the public.”

NENA has always rejected discrimination, renounced intolerance, and welcomed those with different backgrounds and perspectives. The creation of this special committee underscores those values and begins a new effort to amplify diverse voices in the association’s leadership and programs. The committee is co-chaired by Tyrell Morris, executive director of the Orleans Parish (LA) Communications District, and Frances Garcia, ENP, 9-1-1 program manager for the El Paso County (TX) 9-1-1 district.

“Having the privilege to create opportunities for unique and diverse voices to more easily be heard is a true honor,” said Morris. “This committee is the product of everyone involved being brave enough to have the discussions needed to further improve our industry. Thanks to the leadership at NENA, and their commitment to diversity and inclusion, we have a strong platform to continue these conversations.”

The committee will provide recommendations to the NENA Board of Directors in response to questions such as:
• What can NENA do to improve diversity in the association’s leadership and across the organization’s programs and activities?
• What can NENA do to better address the unique workplace challenges that minorities face?
• What standards or policies can be developed to ensure that 9-1-1 provides bias-free service to everyone?

“I am excited to work together with my peers to explore points for improvement within NENA and the public-safety industry,” said Garcia. “By creating the Diversity & Inclusion Special Committee, NENA is facilitating organizational and member self-examination, open discussions, and a unified look at current practices, curricula, and events that will benefit everyone.”

Ten at-large committee seats will be filled through this application process. Applications are due by 11:59PM Eastern on Wednesday, August 19.

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