A Message from Chair Cathy Judd-Stein Regarding the Formation of a Working Group on Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

In June, on behalf of my fellow Commissioners, I convened a working group on equity and inclusion in the workplace, with the goal of ensuring that MGC systems, policies, and practices do not result in disproportionate negative impacts on people or communities of color.

The work of the MGC has a broad reach. It not only affects our internal team, but also extends to the greater community. For instance, we license, investigate, and conduct background checks of prospective casino employees. We are responsible for an extensive research agenda that explores the effect of expanded gaming on diverse communities, and we are required by statute to oversee the provision of onsite responsible gaming intervention services at the gaming facilities. Further, the MGC supports each casino in the engagement of diverse contractors and vendors.

The current discourse on race that stretches across the country prompts immediate reflection. The MGC recognizes that sustained work and commitment against racial inequity result in the most competent of dynamics, and produce a happier and more just, inclusive, and purposeful team.

The work of this group will be ongoing and involve all of us at the Gaming Commission. It will be proactive in its approach to achieving equity and inclusion. Initially, we will create a straightforward action plan that will inform next steps. A likely fundamental first measure involves education and training on implicit bias for our entire agency – we are fortunate that there are excellent virtual options. We will report regularly to the Commission, for accountability and to ensure the sustainability of our efforts.

A recent article published by Jenni Avins of Quartz offers helpful insights on how to begin this important work at this juncture in our nation’s history. She reminds us to “just start.” I want to thank the working group for joining me in this effort: Commissioner Enrique Zuniga; Interim Executive Director Karen Wells; Director of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development Jill Griffin; Human Resources Manager Trupti Banda; Program Assistant Tania Perez; and Financial Investigator Paul Eldredge.

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