City of Mauldin spending $50,000 on diversity training

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Mauldin, SC (WSPA) – The City of Mauldin ear-marking thousands of dollars for diversity training, in response to concerns raised by a local group after a council member shared a controversial post.

After heartfelt discussions and council meetings, elected officials taking first steps to implement diversity training within their organization.

In a unanimous vote Mauldin city officials set aside $50,000 to help heal racial tensions. This comes after protests in the city.

The demonstrations were sparked after Council member Dale Black reportedly forwarded a social media post that defended the Confederate flag and criticized racial justice protests as “getting out of hand.”

The post also prompted the ‘Concerned citizens of Mauldin’ to call for change,  that included Dale Black’s resignation.

“We Live here in Mauldin we want to make sure this is addressed by people who live in the city, pay taxes in this city and vote in this city.” Concerned citizens of Mauldin, Rodney Neely said.

Concerned citizens of Mauldin made up of local ministers and community members, met with the mayor and council members hoping to lay out a proactive plan of action.

Officials set aside $25,000 toward training for elected officials and $25,000 for staff training. The efforts will also include public forums for citizens.

“Is that two meetings or 20 meetings, I have no expectations to put a cap on it. We want to hear from all our citizens of Mauldin along with our business leaders.  Special emphasis will be on the black community, the Hispanic Latino community and the Asian community.”  Mauldin, Mayor Terry Merritt said.

As a former police officer, Neely knows what it’s like on the streets, he also believes all races can live in harmony.

“We want to make a model out of this process. we want other cities other municipalities to say look what Mauldin did because we took a real ugly Situation and turned this thing into something positive.” Neely said.

Councilman Dale Black has not resigned, the concerned citizens of Mauldin say he faces an election next year.

The city is currently vetting companies to come in a lead the training sessions.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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