Local leaders create diversity team
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT — Mayor Mike Wiza has banded together with local leaders to create a new team targeted at overcoming diversity-based issues in Stevens Point.
Wiza announced the new team through a press release on Nov. 20.
“We are really following in the footsteps of many other communities and, most recently, Portage County, and that is getting people together to provide perspectives and insight on relevant issues and challenges that the marginalized segments of society have struggled with,” Wiza said in the release. “We want to focus on addressing those issues, and the only logical way to do that is to involve those affected in creating systemic solutions.”
Members of the team include Eric Riskus, independent living program director at Midstate Independent Living Choices (MILC), representing people with disabilities; Tamia Yates, representing young females and people of color; Tiffany Krueger, Evergreen Community Initiative director, representing the low-income and homeless population; Rayvn Knipple, former UWSP Student Government Association vice president, representing various student groups; Stevens Point Police Officer Chi Yang, representing the department and the Hmong community; Rio Greendeer, UWSP student, representing indigenous people and young community members; Idowu Odedosu, executive director at the Stevens Point Housing Authority, representing public housing needs; and Morgan Potter, MILC Peer support Mental Health Coordinator, offering perspectives on mental health issues.
“The above list is only the beginning. The city expects to utilize many others as resources as they progress toward solutions,” Wiza’s release stated.
The team is slated to hold monthly meetings, kicking off in December.
Wiza said the team would begin by evaluating what the city is doing well in terms of diversity in marginalized communities and what needs improvement. The team will then work to find proper solutions to existing problems.
“We’ll then begin work on providing solutions,” Wiza said. “I expect some of those solutions will come before council to act, but we’ll also likely have things that can be addressed without needing legislation.”
The city hasn’t specified any issues or proposed solutions at the time of writing. Future meetings will be open to the public.