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Boulder’s Diversity Policies Are a Contribution to Mental Well-Being

Boulder’s Diversity Policies Are a Contribution to Mental Well-Being - AboutBoulder.com

Mostly everyone is familiar with Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs. Those begin at the bottom with the most fundamental needs – food and shelter and then safety. The third rung up is the need for belonging and love. And this begins the hierarchy of needs that relate to mental and emotional well-being.

People who are in minority groups often feel as if they do not belong in certain environments and that they are not “loved” as an equal part of that society. As a result, they suffer from emotional issues that impact their well-being – anxiety, stress, and even depression. They are hesitant to make overtures to the majority group and often feel as if they will be rejected.

Boulder has made great strides in its push to be a welcoming community to all diverse and minority groups that live within their community. Let’s look at a couple of these efforts.

The Racial Equity Plan

On February 16, 2021, the City of Boulder adopted its Racial Equity Plan – its purpose is to act as a guide to eliminating racism, both systemic and institutional, in all of its practices. While the plan is not a full solution, it is a start according to minority activists and the local NAACP.

A large part of the plan is based on the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) of which Boulder is a member. And the framework for the policy has been based on policies that have come before them, specifically in urban areas throughout the country.

The Framework for the Plan

There are four basic principles, three of which are clearly stated in the plan – to “normalize conversations about race and racial justice, organize people who are doing that work, and operationalize the work…”

Boulder’s equity manager Aimee Kane states that in formulating the plan, they looked at other plans from around the country.

But racial and ethnic minorities are not the only ones that call Boulder home. There is another significant group – the LGBTQ+ community.

Is Boulder a welcoming environment for them as well?

Boulder Embraces the LGBTQ+ Community

The book 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live, published in 2005 listed Boulder as one of them. And Boulder still deserves that reputation today.

A little history here.

In 1975 county clerk Clela Rorex issued the first same-sex marriage license in the US. She was going with the law that stated licenses were to be issued to “two persons” without any mention of sex.

What followed were years of court cases and conflict about same-sex marriages culminating in legalization by the Colorado Supreme Court on October 7, 2014.

The population of Boulder settled into a period of increasing LGBTQ+ inclusion.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) publishes a Municipal Equality Index, and since 2020 Boulder has consistently scored as the most LGBTQ+-friendly city in Colorado. That index examines the laws and policies, employment, services, and public positions related to the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2018, the Boulder City Manager established a new executive position – the LGBTQ+ Liaison and appointed Assistant City Manager Pam Davis to that position.

Courtesy of DenverPride.org

Employment in Boulder

There is no distinction between hetero and LGBTQ+ benefits and rights for city employees. These include such things as:

  • Insurance for spouses and domestic partners
  • Health care benefits for transition-related surgery, hormone treatments, and mental health care.
  • Paid parental leave for fostering and adopting.
Pride Month

Boulder truly has a month-long celebration with exhibits, art, events, and entertainment. Local merchants join in with special menus, and Pride flags fly everywhere. If you are inclined to visit, download an LGBTQ+ app for dating and hookups and find a travel buddy or someone local to meet up with. You won’t forget the Boulder Pride experience.

Boulder – Need for Belonging and Love Well Met

For a small town (approx. 108,000) Boulder has provided a safe and secure spot for all minority groups. That in itself gives everyone a sense of emotional well-being and what a good feeling that is.

John Mali Director of Media Relations

Director of Media Relations at AboutBoulder.com


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