Damakant Jayshi

Wausau’s Liberation and Freedom Committee members on Wednesday vowed to increase efforts engaging with the community to help advance the group’s goals and objectives.

Member Chris Norfleet said the committee should ensure more participation of people in their meetings as diversity in the community increases. Norfleet said the committee should be proactive to create meaningful change.

Member La’Tanya Campbell suggested that instead of asking and expecting the community to come to the committee, its members should use their personal connections to encourage and increase participation. She also suggested holding listening sessions as a way to reach more people where they live.

She also said the committee should welcome anyone who identifies as a marginalized person and allow them to speak.

Campbell said that personal invites – not just email – can help members of the community feel included and encourage them to attend and engage.

Chair of the committee, Tom Kilian, said the committee should share its ideas in a report to the City Council.

“Unless we get these ideas in front of the council to (let them) know how we feel and what we wanted to do, there is going to be gridlock and we will not be able to make much progress,” he said. “We want to do this as quickly as possible,” pointing to the upcoming City Council meetings.

Kilian said that members’ suggestions about communication with community, as well as additional language and outreach events should be presented to the council for its consideration.

LF Committee is an advisory body to the City Council on matters of inclusion, tolerance and acceptance, among others.

Damakant Jayshi is a reporter for Wausau Pilot & Review. He is also a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of GroundTruth Project that places journalists into local newsrooms. Reach him at damakant@wausaupilotandreview.com.