Why Are 90% of Boston’s New Firefighters White?

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Why Are 90% of Boston’s New Firefighters White?

“In America, we share a dream that lies at the heart of our founding:  that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like…you can make it if you try.”

President Obama’s Proclamation on Black History Month (February 2013)

CALLING FOR GREATER DIVERSITY IN THE BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

The Boston Fire Department is one of the City’s least racially diverse agencies. On Black History Month, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and the Boston Society of Vulcans are calling upon the City of Boston to take proactive steps to improve racial and gender diversity and to demonstrate that diversity is, in fact, a top priority for this administration.

“As the Boston Globe reported, since Mayor Walsh took office, 90% of new firefighters have been White. That is not a proportional representation of a City whose immigrant and minority communities are experiencing exponential growth,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee.

The Lawyers’ Committee and the Vulcans are outlining a package of solutions that – taken as a whole – can meaningfully improve diversity in the Boston Fire Department, including:

  • extending the residency preference requirement to more than one year;
  • creating a cadet program in the Boston Fire Department;
  • recruiting, hiring, and promoting employees with specific skill sets – such as language fluency – that will enhance the Boston Fire Department’s effectiveness in minority and immigrant communities;
  • involving the Boston Society of Vulcans in the hiring process; and

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