Crawfordsville Struggles With Diversity In Remaking Its Human Rights Commission

Sep 24, 2015

Now that the board is being repopulated, it needs diverse representation. But that's not what Mayor Todd Barton is getting.
Credit J. Stephen Conn

Though he’s had a couple dozen people express interest in serving on the city’s reconstituted human rights commission, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says there’s a problem: almost all of them are white.

“I am struggling with it a little bit because when I look at the group, we’ve had some really good people express interest and I’m excited about that," Barton says. "My primary concern: there’s not much diversity in that group and that does trouble me somewhat.”

The commission fell into disuse some years ago and now city officials must find a dozen people to populate it.

But in a town where about 90-percent of people are white, Barton could have trouble diversifying the panel’s membership.

He says he’d like to add members of the city’s Latino community, who make up about 8-percent of the population.

All other racial and ethnic minorities make up just 2-3 percent of residents.