The City of Brookhaven has selected René Alvarez, director of academic success and advising, to serve on its Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission.
In September, the City Council approved a resolution establishing the commission, in an effort to create an inclusive and welcoming forum for open and honest discussions on social justice, race and equity issues. The commissions’ 37 members, who were required to complete an application process, include representatives from the Brookhaven’s various faith, education and business communities.
“The members of the Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission not only represent the diverse demographics of Brookhaven, but each brings to the table their experiences, training and passion in the areas of inclusion, equity, and community engagement,” said Mayor John Ernst.
“As a young City, we have had a lot of experience, and considerable success, in developing planning documents with extensive public input that guides policy making and budget decisions. However, the Brookhaven Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission is arguably more important than any other planning process the City has undertaken.”
The commission will review the City’s Vision and Mission Statement and Charter, policies and procedures, public engagement and communication outreach, and the Brookhaven Police Department’s use of force policy, oversight and accountability to identify, evaluate and report potential recommendations to City Council.
“I look forward to reviewing and assessing the Brookhaven Police Department’s use of force policy, oversight, and accountability through the same lens through which I have taught courses at OU—exploring the intersection of race/ethnicity with the critical components of the criminal justice system,” said Alvarez.
“I am also excited to demonstrate to my students that there are practical real-world applications of the research and perspectives I have explored with them in the classroom that may contribute to meaningful structural change.”
Alvarez, who joined Oglethorpe’s staff in 2017, directs student-focused areas of Academic Success, Accessibility Services, Tutoring Services, Excel Academic Coaching Program, and academic advising for all first-year freshmen, transfer students, and Adult Degree Program students.
He also serves on the President’s Cabinet, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s Advisory Board, Staff Leadership Group, Student Support Committee, Making a Petrel Committee (freshman and transfer student summer orientation), and the Provost Search Committee. Alvarez has also taught POL 290 – Intro to Criminal Justice and will be teaching INT/SPN 290 Latinx Resilience and Response during the spring semester.
Find out more about the Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission on the City of Brookhaven’s website.