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In 2016, several City of Maplewoodemployeesparticipated in a racial equity cohort through the League ofMinnesota Cities and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity(GARE). The work City staff did with the cohort also fulfilled the City’s mission to make racial equity a key component of its strategic plan, which helps guide the City’s planning. Currently, about 32 percent of Maplewood residents are people of color. Accordingly, the City is focused on building equity and inclusivity throughout the community. That commitment and work was recently recognized by the League of Minnesota Cities. Each year, the League’s outgoing President selects individuals and organizations for the President’s Award. The honor is awarded to an organization or individual that exemplifies excellence in an area of importance to both the League and its member cities. This year, President Rhonda Powell, the mayor of Northfield, chose to honor the 12 cities that participated in the racial equity cohort.“I’m very pleased to see our staff, and the other communities, recognized by Mayor Powell,“ City Manager Melinda Coleman said. “This is a vital issue and one we’re passionate about leading the way on.” The award is a large plaque listing the 12 racial equity cohorts that will be prominently displayed at the League of Minnesota Cities offices in St. Paul.“ Our staff has really done an outstanding job in the area of racial equity,” Mayor Nora Slawik said. “This recognition from the League of Minnesota Cities shows that we’ve already taken solid steps, but are also committed to further action.”