Fort Worth

6 Finalists Up for Fort Worth's New Diversity & Inclusion Director

The city of Fort Worth is one step closer to naming their new Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

It's a brand new position charged with improving the city's race relations.

Monday night, candidates gathered at a public forum to answer questions from city leaders and the public.

About 100 people gathered inside the auditorium at Morningside Elementary to hear the six finalists up for the job.

City Manager David Cooke said the city started with more than 300 applications and narrowed it down to the final six.

All six candidates have experience in the field of diversity and inclusion. Some are out-of-state applicants while others have local ties. 

Monday night's forum was a chance for city leaders to see how the candidates interact with the public.

"Part of having this public forum is they are going to have to work within the community and in the community identifying disparities," said Cooke.

Alva Shuler moved to Fort Worth two years ago and came to the meeting Monday night to get more involved in what's happening within the city.

"I just want to hear what do they have planned," said Shuler. "We know there's definitely an issue with the black community and the police department and we think it's time for a change."

The new director will take over a 14 person department within the city manger's office. The department will focus on eliminating any inequities in city services and enforce civil rights laws. The position is one of the main recommendations from the city's race and culture task force.

Created after the controversial arrest of Jacqueline Craig in 2016, the task force spent two years listening to residents and came up with 22 recommendations the city plans to implement.

"The things they brought back to us, I'm sure in many cases, people didn't want to hear them, but we had to hear them and we wanted to hear them," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "Their work has been critical to moving this city forward."

The city said the position would be filled by the end of the year and the budget for the director and the staff was included in the 2020 budget. The salary for the director will range from $125,820 to $207,604.

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