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Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity

Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity

November 19, 2020

The Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE)

Dear Leadership Alabama members,

As we shared with you on Monday, June 1, Leadership Alabama recognized the need for more action on social justice and racial equality.  Without question, we are in a difficult time demanding heightened leadership, action and results.  To provide that leadership, the Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE) was created in August, and a planning committee has been meeting since then to work through the charge and to identify commission members.  We were hoping to convene in person, but due to ongoing COVID restrictions, our gathering was cancelled.  We are now planning virtual meetings to begin this important work.

The commission is comprised of 28 LA and Alabama Leadership Initiative (ALI) leaders who are passionate, committed and focused on identifying, prioritizing and offering solutions to the inequities endured by our citizens that directly impact the growth and future  prosperity of Alabama. Gordon Martin, LA’s immediate past chair, has played a key role in the commission’s formation, and we are honored that LA members Tyrone Fenderson of Mobile, a past LA chair, and Laurie Weil of Montgomery, a civic leader and LA Class III member, have graciously accepted the call to co-chair LACRE.  Please click here to see the list of members serving on the commission.

The action plan, objective and desired outcomes are described below in the commission’s “Charge.”  As it pertains to our planned listening sessions (paragraph 2), we will schedule in-person sessions throughout the state for LA members and other community leaders once we are able to safely convene at large gatherings. Each session will be thoughtfully and strategically facilitated by two LA members, John Saxon (LA Class XXX) of Birmingham and Liz Huntley (LA Class XXIII) of Clanton.

All information pertaining to LACRE and its work will soon be featured on the LA website under “About Us.”  The creation of the web page is in its final stages. Additionally, the retreat programming for all upcoming LA and ALI classes will incorporate key facets of LACRE’s mission, community conversations and objectives.


LACRE Charge

“Leadership Alabama is committed to be a force for change on these vital issues.  LACRE is charged with taking a comprehensive look at race and equity in our state, with an emphasis on solutions and action.  With the assistance of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), the commission will explore, identify and summarize the data related to racial inequality and inequality in general in Alabama.  The commission will hear from subject matter experts on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to education, health and the legal/criminal justice systems.

In conjunction with media partners, the commission will conduct listening sessions around the state on these topics and others, learning from regional experts and spotlighting successful programs that have driven positive change.  The sessions will also provide opportunities for public comments on the topics of focus, as well as the broader issues of race and equity.  Utilizing the information it has gathered, and with the guidance from experts, the commission will formulate a list of policy options that enable thoughtful decision-making that can lead to substantive changes that address the root causes of racism and inequality in our state.  
The commission’s goal and desire is that its work can serve as a catalyst for Leadership Alabama members and the public to band together and utilize the commission’s findings to establish programs and seek policy outcomes that make Alabama a more just and equitable place for all of its citizens.”

We are eager to actively begin, and we will certainly keep you updated on all LACRE-related activities and news.  If you have thoughts or suggestions, please direct them to any member of the commission.

David Nast
Board Chair
Kate Cotton
Executive Director


2020 – LACRE Commission Members