San Luis Obispo city Mayor Heidi Harmon recently used her position to address the centuries-old national shame of racism and is turning the tide toward equity in our community. As a Cal Poly professor of sociology and a researcher of social change, I find Mayor Harmon's engagement in the current movement for transformation both timely and courageous.
We find ourselves in the most significant social upheaval in the past 60 years. The choking of George Floyd by police was not an accident but rather a symptom of broader racial injustice that permeates every aspect of U.S. society.
The factual evidence of racial inequality is overwhelming, including in San Luis Obispo. Mayor Harmon exemplifies the fortitude and bravery necessary to tackle these painful issues. She asks the hard questions about her own unconscious bias, she listens and supports marginalized groups, and she investigates discriminatory practices within our community. Her intrepid guidance is moving SLO toward the right side of history. Finally. We owe it to ourselves and our children to follow Mayor Harmon's example and "do the work" to make SLO a vanguard of respect and equal opportunity.