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August 17, 2022

Boulder County Commissioners Appoint Carrie Inoshita as Director of Office of Racial Equity

Carrie Inoshita

Boulder County, Colo. -- The Boulder County Board of County Commissioners has appointed Carrie Inoshita as Director of the county’s new Office of Racial Equity, which will build on the racial equity work the county has been engaged in internally.

As Director, Carrie will lead a team of racial equity professionals in developing and implementing strategies to create an inclusive, anti-racist and multicultural organization, and work to adaptively dismantle institutionalism racism and create systems of belonging in partnership with county leadership.

In August 2021, the Commissioners approved staffing and funding for a centralized Office of Racial Equity with a focus on advancing racial equity work within the county organization. In addition to the director role, Office of Racial Equity staff include Cecilia Jones and Dr. Courtney Prusmack, who have co-led with Carrie on many of the county’s racial equity initiatives.

“Racial equity work has been developing at the county. Having a dedicated office allows that work to be resourced, structured, and focused. This move allows us to strategically and intentionally work internally to teach, learn, evaluate, and lead towards racially equitable outcomes for employees and residents in Boulder County,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Marta Loachamin. “The Board of County Commissioners look forward to working with the leadership and staff throughout the organization on this exceptionally vital work.”

“As I step into this role, I do so with an immense feeling of gratitude. The persistent leadership of passionate people in our organization has created the conditions needed for the Office of Racial Equity to lead with race," said Carrie. "As an Asian woman, it is my purpose to sustain and deepen relationships across our organization and beyond toward a collective vision of a Boulder County government that works for all."

Carrie describes herself as follows: “I am an Asian woman born, raised, racialized, and socialized in the US state of Arizona. Arising from the lands of the Gila River and Colorado River Indian Tribes, I am a third-generation Japanese immigrant, whose racial consciousness and perspective is rooted in the Japanese-American racial experience. My purpose in racial equity work is to inspire a shared sense of responsibility for all futures by tending relationships, nurturing connections and creating the conditions needed to unearth and change the through-line of racism.”

Carrie has worked for Boulder County since 2006 and before her most recent assignment to focus on racial equity in disaster recovery work, she was a senior business analyst at Boulder County Parks & Open Space, analyzing business practices and processes, recommending improvements, and ensuring the department’s technology needs were met. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Office of Racial Equity will be housed on the second floor of the Historic Downtown Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street, Boulder.

Boulder County’s Policy 1.6 introduced in 2020: Fully Inclusive, Anti-Racist & Multicultural Organization

In Boulder County, race matters. We center race in our equity work because we know historically and currently, race is the biggest predictor of disproportionate outcomes and disparities in the United States of America. Good government is impossible without racial equity. In 2018, the Board of County Commissioners with the full support of county and racial equity leadership, made transformational racial equity one of the county’s strategic priorities.

The future vision of this institution is one that has overcome systemic racism and all other forms of oppression. The recognition of the impact of racism on the need for intentional efforts toward eliminating racism is foundational to transformational equity work. To that end, Boulder County’s institution of government will reflect full participation and shared power with diverse racial, cultural and economic groups in determining its mission, structure, constituency, policies and practices. A place where members of all identity groups are full participants in decisions that shape the institution for full inclusion of diverse races, cultures, lifestyles and interests. The result is healing within the workplace and employees; a place of alliance in combating all forms of social oppression. A Boulder County where we humbly work with larger communities (regional, national, global) to eliminate all forms of oppression and assist in creating fully inclusive, anti-racist and multicultural organizations everywhere.

Everyone’s humanity in the institution and community matters. For everyone’s humanity to matter, first the organization and persons within it must recognize that historically and currently, anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity is causing harm. Sincere efforts must be made to identify, stop and repair the harm. Everyone in Boulder County government shares a responsibility to actively contribute to the liberation of all people, especially those who have been historically and structurally marginalized and oppressed.

As a government institution, it is our moral responsibility to interrupt institutional racism which manifests through racist laws, policies, practices and behaviors. In order to advance racial equity, we must practice transformational racial equity within our own governmental organization and within ourselves.

It is the responsibility of all county department directors and elected officials to ensure with integrity and fidelity that this policy is articulated to each employee within their supervision. It is expected that all employees endeavor to develop the will, knowledge, skill and capacity consistent with this policy. It is expected that everyone practices and exhibits transformational racial equity with honesty, open- mindedness, and willingness as we build for eternity.

Headshots of three current commissioners in horizontal alignment with their names to the right of each photo