City’s Racial Justice and Equality Commission, Expungement Clinic receive award

Original By Susan Straub

Lexington’s Racial Justice and Equality Commission has been recognized by the International Economic Development Council, IEDC, as an Economic Equity and Inclusion Silver Award winner, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.

“In 2020, I formed a community-based commission focused on doing away with our city’s racial disparities,” Gorton said. “The members of that group made 54 recommendations in their report. The members of our new, permanent Racial Justice and Equality Commission are focused on continuing the work to root out systemic racism in Lexington. I am very proud of this work, and the positive impact it is having on our community.”

In making the award, the Council highlighted the Clean Slate Lexington Expungement Clinic and Job Fair, a Commission initiative. The program was developed to help individuals expunge past criminal convictions by connecting them with attorneys. Participants also had opportunities to speak with employers offering second chance hiring.

“The expungement of years-old convictions will give constituents the opportunity to reintegrate into the community by having their voting rights restored, and gaining access to housing, education and employment,” Tiffany Brown, Lexington’s Equity & Implementation Officer, said. “We are honored to receive this award for Economic Equity and Inclusion from the International Economic Development Council. Lexington is on the right path to becoming a more equitable city.”

The first Clean Slate Lexington Expungement Clinic and Job Fair, held last April, involved over 325 people. Plans are underway for a similar event in 2023.

IEDC is the largest nonprofit association for economic development professionals in the world. Recognized each year during the IEDC Annual Conference, the Excellence Awards honor organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects, and programs.

Expungement Clinic and Job Fair April 29, 2022. Photo by Amy Wallot