The MDP Announces Establishment of DEI Ad Hoc Committee to Codify Anti-Racism & Inclusion into Party's Governing Documents 
DEI Ad Hoc Committee Members: 
Councilor Deqa Dhalac, Julian H. Rogers, Lutie Brown, Leah Knightly, Patricia Washburn, Megan Smith, Cooper Reed

“The Maine Democratic Party believes in justice and equity,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Drew Gattine. “But too often, our actions have not aligned with our beliefs, causing distrust, harm, and very real pain in Black, Indigenous, brown, Asian American Pacific Islander communities; LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities. It is long past time for us to back up our words with actions.

“The MDP is committed to anti-racism and inclusion in perpetuity. That means we need to embed this work into the DNA of our organization. The DEI Ad Hoc Committee is an essential piece of that.”

The DEI Ad Hoc Committee is made up of individuals with deep expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion who have volunteered to craft the language and recommendations necessary to codify a Permanent DEI Committee into MDP’s governing documents. The Permanent DEI Committee will be established by late 2021 or early 2022 and will guide the MDP’s internal and external DEI operations.

“We are centering anti-racism in MDP’s work and culture,” said Chair Gattine. “The Ad Hoc Committee’s establishment of a Permanent DEI Committee will ensure that no matter who the staff or leadership of the party may be, anti-racism and inclusion are core to our operations.” 

“As an immigrant, black woman and a Muslim, it hasn't been easy to be included in certain spaces, I would like to see the MDP represent all Mainers in order to develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.” Councilor Deqa Dhalac 

“I am excited to be part of the Maine Democratic Party's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ad Hoc Committee to ensure that all of Maine's tribes have representation on the final DEI committee and that their voices are heard.” Megan Smith 

“It would be hard to say how important I think this committee work will be for Maine and how much it means to me to be a part of building it from the ground up! Let’s do what we do best….LEAD!” Julian H. Rogers 

“I am honored to join MDP's Ad Hoc DEI Committee to work on building a more inclusive party and community. My experiences as a young, queer survivor and woman of color in Maine inform my perspective, and I am excited to share what I have learned from my work around inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility within College Democrats of America.” Lutie Brown

“As a person with a disability, I offer a perspective from a population which often goes unheard in political circles. I am honored to be invited to serve on this committee to help shape a more welcoming, just, and inclusive Maine Democratic Party.” Patricia Washburn

“I am honored to be joining the DEI Ad Hoc committee and recognize this as some of the most important work we could be doing right now in our Party in adherence with our values. I look forward to bringing my experience and lots of active listening to this process.” Cooper Reed

“Our party will be strengthened by maintaining equity in its processes, inclusivity in its membership, and embracing the voices of all Mainers. Creating a DEI committee and codifying these ideals into our governing documents will ensure that these values are upheld in every aspect of the MDP. I look forward to helping with this task." Leah Knightly

The DEI Ad Hoc Committee will begin its work this month.