LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Lexington’s new Equity and Implementation Officer Tiffany Brown is sharing her plans to address racial and equality shortcomings in the city. Brown will be implementing recommendations made by the Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.
That’s a group organized by Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton to identify and dismantle systemic racism in Lexington. Brown said she’s ready to get to work and make change, not just talk about it.
“Coming back to Lexington and doing this type of work has really just been humbling,” Brown said.
Brown is a Lexington native. She said she’s ready to roll up her sleeves to address equity shortfalls that the city has been working for more than a year to solve.
“Right out of the gate, I think that all of the issues, whether they be education, economic, health, law enforcement, justice, they’re all important issues,” Brown said.
During nightly protests in July 2020, Mayor Gorton announced the plans to develop the Commission for Racial Justice & Equality. Brown’s job will be to oversee the more than 50 recommendations the initial commission reported in October 2020.
“A motto that I have is that we move from protest to policy. Everyone can’t protest, but I believe that it’s the mayor– it’s her intention to create policy around Lexington becoming more equitable,” Brown said.
For six years, Brown served in a similar role in Cincinnati, problem-solving around crime safety and quality of life. Her work addressing gun violence won an award from the Ohio Crime Prevention Association for community engagement.
“That’s what I feel that Lexington misses a lot is the engagement with the community around the recommendations, around initiatives, around programs that are developed in the city, developed around local government,” Brown said.
It’s a change Brown said takes a group effort.
“I alone am not the answer. We have to do this together,” Brown said.
BUILD Lexington has been critical of the city’s handlings of violence and other racial issues. Belinda Snead, who is on BUILD’s violence steering committee, said they’re “glad that the city seems to be taking concerns of the community seriously.” She said they hope to work with Brown to get a proven violence reduction strategy that they and others have been pushing for to stop the rising violence.
Brown said she’s been meeting with organizations, community members, and people who were on the initial Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.
The city is working on building a permanent commission, which Brown said could be announced early next month.