Brookhaven’s Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission holds 1st meeting

Brookhaven's Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission held its first meeting Thursday night.

Credit: City of Brookhaven

Credit: City of Brookhaven

Brookhaven's Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission held its first meeting Thursday night.

A commission to review Brookhaven’s policies, procedures and police department held its inaugural meeting Thursday night.

The Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission met to solidify its mission and lay the groundwork for the next year of meetings. It also acted as a meet-and-greet for its 37 members, who will serve on the commission for a year. Their positions are unpaid.

“It’s a large commission, and that was done intentionally,” John J. Funny, the commission’s chair, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When you have an open dialogue, there will be opportunities for individuals to have discussions on a variety of topics.”

The north DeKalb city founded the commission in September as a way to further the cause of racial equality following months of protests over police brutality and racism. During the meeting, Funny said the commission will be divided into subcommittees to review specific topics, including the city’s vision and mission statements, police department, procurement and hiring.

The commission can’t enact policies, but it will make recommendations for the City Council to consider. Funny said he won’t know what will come out of the commission’s discussions.

“We may come out of this with nothing,” he said. “We do not know, but I think this is how cities grow.”

The racial, ethnic and gender breakdown of Brookhaven, city management, city staff and the Brookhaven Police Department were shown during the meeting.

Brookhaven has roughly 55,000 residents and is about 53% white, 30% Hispanic/Latino, 10% Black and 5% Asian. The city is majority female, but its management, city staff and police department are more than 60% male. The largest racial disparity is that nearly 77% of the city’s management is white, but city staff and police employees more closely align with the city’s racial breakdown.

Atlanta-based Chrysalis Lab will act as a facilitator for the commission and presented a four-phase plan to help guide the commission’s discussions and procedures.

Here are the four phases the Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission plans to follow during its first year.

Credit: Chrysalis Lab

icon to expand image

Credit: Chrysalis Lab

Funny said 30 minutes of the meeting was set aside for public comment. No one utilized that time during the first meeting.

The next meeting will be held Jan. 21. More information on the committee is available at

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