The Diversity and Inclusion Program was created to assist the City in its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the community and workplace. Diversity and Inclusivity Director Christine Samuel was hired June 1, 2020.
The focus of the Diversity and Inclusivity Director is a strong emphasis on a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the community and workplace. This directly ties into the City's core values of integrity, respect, and inclusivity. The overall mission is to promote diversity and foster an inclusive environment where employees and citizens feel a sense of belonging.
Initial discussions were held with Department Directors, community leaders, and stakeholders to learn of the current perspective of diversity and inclusion, and how best to think more inclusively and expand diversity. A 14-member Employee Diversity and Inclusion Team was established August 5, 2020 and includes employees with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. This team promotes diversity and inclusion in their respective departments and serves as the communication link from employees to the City Manager's Office. Its mission is to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Research for recruitment, training, and career development Best Practices was conducted with the recommendation to transform the recruitment and career development process with the addition of bias training. Final steps to complete an official Diversity Strategic Plan are in place. This document will ensure all people are treated with integrity and respect while establishing an inclusive environment with a strong sense of belonging. For more information, please contact Diversity and Inclusivity Director Christine Samuel at 863-291-5600.
Proclamation Presented to Tom D. Freijo, PH.D.
Dr. Tom Freijo received a proclamation from the City Commission at the October 11, 2021 City Commission meeting honoring his extensive work and involvement in building strong communities focused on inclusivity. The City of Winter Haven Employee Diversity and Inclusivity Team was on hand to celebrate with Dr. Freijo as he accepted this significant recognition.
Hispanic Heritage Month
The City of Winter Haven Employee Diversity and Inclusivity Team invited City Employees to an amazing luncheon on October 15 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Team members gathered during lunchtime to enjoy authentically delicious food while celebrating with fellow employees.