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Oxford Approves Diversity Resolution

sex-rbThe City of Oxford passed a diversity resolution Tuesday night affirming the city’s commitment to inclusion. The Board of Aldermen approved it in a unanimous vote. Oxford is the third town in Mississippi, behind Starkville on Jan. 21 and Hattiesburg on Feb. 18, to pass a diversity resolution.
In reading the resolution, Mayor Pat Patterson said the city has a commitment to fair treatment for all its citizens, and that all of its citizens have inherent worth.
The resolution reads, in part, “… the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Oxford declare it the policy of the City to reject discrimination of any kind and to respect the inherent worth of every person without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability or source of income….” The resolution is available online.
Alderman Jay Hughes said that this resolution is about the strength Oxford has in its community. He said it’s time for Oxford to say it’s not like the legislature and government in Jackson.

Students held their posters up at the James Meredith statue, during a peaceful protest against racist symbols and acts.
Students held their posters up at the James Meredith statue, during a peaceful protest against racist symbols and acts.

“This is an opportunity to say we are a diverse community,” Hughes said. “At a time when signals from some parts of the state seem to be focused on exclusion, I am absolutely honored and proud to be in a community that embraces inclusion of everyone….”
Only one audience member voiced an objection to the resolution, and said that he believes it jeopardizes his right as an Orthodox Christian to participate as a business owner in Oxford.
Jon Maynard, the Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, spoke in strong support of the resolution, on behalf of the Oxford business community.
“We compete globally for talent,” Maynard said. “When we grow this community, we’ll be growing it with people from all over this world.”
He explained that clashes from the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement left the image of Oxford marred, and that this is the right decision for overcoming an undeserved reputation.
– Gretchen Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. You can contact Gretchen about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com.

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