Salem launches race equity survey

Written By: Dustin Luca Staff Writer

SALEM — The city and its newly formed Race Equity Task Force have launched a survey to better determine equity issues across Salem and how they are impacting residents.

Shawn Newton, task force chairperson, announced the survey in an update on Wednesday in which he highlighted the work that the group has done so far, along with next steps.

In the update, Newton unpacked the basic reasons for equity remaining an issue in the 21st century.

Racism, Newton wrote, “more than an insensitive or derogatory word; it’s more than prejudice, and it’s even more than discrimination.”

“We all have different experiences and therefore are often at odds when trying to confront it,” Newton wrote. “So, with this in mind, imagine being asked to address race equity in the city of Salem. Where do you start?”

The survey is open to Salem residents and covers several topics, including what barriers households face in “being truly healthy,” interactions with police, and the importance for the school district to diversify “the number of educators, principals, school committee member[s] and district leaders.”

“The Salem Race Equity Task Force is now at a place where the work can begin,” Newton said. “Based on individuals that make up the group and their areas of expertise, we’ve identified five areas where we feel we can have the most impact: education, economics, culture, public safety and health care. We also understood that our voices are not the only ones that matter and as such I humbly ask for community input to help inform this endeavor.”

To take the survey, which is anonymous and available in both English and Spanish, visit bit.ly/SalemRETFSurvey. The link will remain active until Jan. 8.