News Release - City Leaders Commit to Addressing Racial Equity During National Day of Racial Healing

City of Rochester

News Release

(Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren, City Council President Loretta Scott and Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, signed a historic charter today that provides a framework for Rochester to implement specific strategies to advance racial equity through smart policy decisions, strong civic engagement, and accurate and complete portrayals of people of color in our community.

“Through this charter, we commit to using education, community empowerment and smart public policy to make progress in dismantling discrimination in our community,” said Mayor Warren. “By encouraging empathy and understanding within organizations and individuals, we hope to move everyone closer to racial healing.”

“Rochester Chamber fully embraces and supports Project Let’s Get REAL (Race, Equity and Leadership),” said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy. “I believe the best way to achieve racial equity and harmony is through actions and not words. We must explore ways to bring people together rather than drive them farther apart. If all of us including government, community and business leaders look inside our own organizations to create system changes and a greater sense of opportunity and equality for everyone, we can make great advances.”

“We are thrilled to be in Rochester as part of their participation in the Cities for Racial Equity and Racial Healing Technical Assistance Initiative, which is generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,” said Leon Andrews, director of the National League of Cities Race, Equity and Leadership program. “Rochester was one of six cities selected to join this initiative. We look forward to our site visit as we work alongside city leaders in Rochester to take meaningful steps in advancing racial healing and addressing institutional and structural racism in their city.”

The Project Let’s Get REAL charter was signed as part of the City’s first ever National Day of Racial Healing, and the event was attended by local leaders and representatives from the National League of Cities, which is providing guidance and training to Rochester and other participating cities aiming to advance racial equity.

Today’s news conference kicks off a multi-year plan for strategic work both internally and externally that the City and its partner, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, are committed to undertake in order to embed equity into the work they do and to pave the way for the community at large.

To read the charter in full, go to


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.