Fargo Featured: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Courtesy: City of Fargo
Courtesy: City of Fargo

(Fargo, ND) -- Dr. Terry Hogan, Fargo's Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, spoke with WDAY Radio's Talk of the Town with Jon Adams to give perspective to the department's goals and how they look to achieve them moving forward. 

Defining DEI

Fargo's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department's goal is to help "build an inclusive government which reflects its people and a community within which race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability are not a determinant of success", according to a statement on the department's website.

"Each municipality, each state, each city has a different idea or a different perspective on 'what is DEI'... "said Dr. Hogan, "People when they come to a city, a state, a municipality, everyone wants to feel a certain sense of welcoming and belonging. This is why in my view it is important. This is why in my view, each city, each state, each municipality has a different need analysis. But as far as I can see it, everybody wants to have a sense of belonging in the city which they live."

The department website breaks down the pillars of DEI further, by sharing more on the specific messages looking to be implemented within the. Diversity looks to "Invite all representations of life and respect the value in everyone's uniqueness, while appreciating many perspectives to offer greater opportunities for success" Equity looks to "Set the foundation for access to opportunities and resources for all people, with a clear understanding and acknowledgment of current equity gaps and the impacts on vulnerable populations and all people." Inclusion looks to "Create an environment which is authentic and transparent in which all people feel valued and welcomed." These definitions can be found on the DEI website. 

To the Future

The DEI Director says one of the things that would increase the impact of DEI in Fargo would be to increase staffing numbers. Dr. Hogan says he was the sole employee in the DEI Department up until a few weeks ago, which he attributes to stalling the completion and assessment of goals for the agency. He says one of the biggest ways to assist the DEI Department in the short term would be to add additional people to the payroll, and hire more employees.

"I'm just one person and what we are trying to do, what I am trying to do is add more to my staff. Add all the expertise... "said Dr. Hogan, "Once we get more people, once I get more people, then people can see the movement and what we are trying to do as a DEI Department here in Fargo... We need to get that because we need people to specialize in certain things, and although I have the 20+ years of experience, there is only so much I can do as one individual."

Moving forward, there are aspects of Fargo that Dr. Hogan says could see more diversity. Dr. Hogan ascribes the need for diversity to an environmental scan and climate assessment he worked on within his first six months on the job. 

"Diversity is missing across all departments. We need to find a way, wether it is HR or whatever we need to do, on how to recruit, on how we retain, on how we do what we do in order to continue [to bring] more and more diversity to The City of Fargo," said Dr Hogan. 


You can learn more about Fargo's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department by clicking here.

Original Air Date: 
Monday, February 20, 2023