Thursday, November 16, 2023

A new chapter

Library renovation is celebrated 

City officials and library personnel welcomed crowds to
 the newly-renovated Willaim P. Faust Public Library of Westland last week.
 Renovations included age and topic specific
 reading rooms and an outdoor patio along with new seating. 

The City of Westland has been named as the winner of the 2023 Apex Award from InCompass Michigan, the leading statewide network of human service organizations. The award honors Westland as “an outstanding employer with a rich workplace culture that recognizes and celebrates diverse backgrounds, perspectives, skills and abilities.” 

Westland was nominated for the award by Aimee Szabo of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP).

“The award was designed to honor an organization that has fostered exceptional employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to community access in Michigan and demonstrated a commitment to inclusion and diversity in hiring practices, training and talent development,” commented InCompass Michigan COO, Laurie Morse-Dell,

Westland has an increasingly diverse population of 86,000 and is Michigan's 10th largest city, officials said. The persons with disabilities population in Westland under the age of 65 is currently 11.9 percent. Minorities, including Blacks, Asians and Hispanics, make up over 30 percent of the population.

“It is so heartwarming to know that our multifaceted effort in encouraging and deepening diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all aspects of our city is bearing good fruits, and getting recognized statewide,” commented former Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau. “Adherence to the city's Non-Discrimination Ordinance in all areas - from employment to housing - and keeping city buildings compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) remains an important part of Westland's strong commitment to accessibility and other DEI priorities. Additionally, we plan to collaboratively intensify and expand effort to ensure greater sense of belonging to all members of our community, especially minority groups, and persons living with disabilities,” he added.

Chief Diversity Officer C. Paschal Eze, whose department spearheads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) department efforts expressed gratitude to Londeau, city council members, his colleagues, members of the Disability Advocacy Committee and the DEI Commission, and others for joining forces to help mainstream DEI citywide.

“I believe the award will bolster our collective resolve and commitment. And as I have often posited, we all win when our workplaces, marketplaces, leisure and growth places reflect real inclusion and equity,” commented Eze.