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The Leap Network's Response To The City of Lowell's Hiring Process

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

My journey to Lowell, MA, started in 2001 after transferring from Tufts University to UMass Lowell (Go Riverhawks!).

I ultimately graduated and met an amazing woman at UMass Lowell, who is now my wife and mother of my two young sons.

About ten years ago, we purchased a home in Lowell. We also became entrepreneurs and active community participants.

I didn’t know it in 2001, but our decisions led us to become part of a larger narrative. This is a narrative around the significance of community relationships, activism, culture, and diversity.

These happen to be all things we know and believe to be the social and economic strengths of Lowell.

And with this said, I applaud Councilor Vesna Nuon for filing a motion to explore Lowell’s hiring process.

As an HR and recruiting professional, I examined the report from many perspectives. And Lowell has a real opportunity to recruit and leverage its diverse capital in better ways. Lowell is a city where...

  • Academia often highlights its diverse domestic and international student body.

  • Healthcare mavens celebrate serving 1 in 3 Lowell residents in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner.

  • “Little Cambodia” is celebrated

  • Monuments have been erected to remember past genocides

  • Its culture and bizarre foods attract the likes of Andrew Zimmerman

  • Hollywood and produces Blockbuster movies come

I must say there is not a lot to like about this report!

I especially don’t like...

  • High school students of color who can say they’ve never had an administrator or teacher who looks like them.

  • High school students of color who never had a teacher or administrator that speaks their language!

  • High school students of color who never had a curriculum about African-American history outside of slavery and the civil rights movement.

  • That there are only 10 Asian police officers, two of whom are women.

  • That diversity is only celebrated when it is convenient.

  • Not seeing more diversity in the workforce.

And for people of all backgrounds, this motion is a real conversation starter.

The conversations we will have today will enhance our lives and our city tomorrow.

Human resources and talent acquisition professionals understand that the wealth and engine of any organization is not its products.

It is in its people. It’s human capital.

If the report produced by our city’s human relations director is Lowell’s human capital report, the city must do better.

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