County Board Supervisor and Community Member Present at National Association of Counties – County Officials advancing Racial Equity in Justice network Event
July 28, 2023
County Board Supervisor Dana Pellebon, (608) 514-1718
Last weekend Dane County Board Supervisor Dana Pellebon and Anthony Cooper Sr., Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Reentry Services at Nehemiah, were invited to make a presentation to leaders from the National Association of Counties (NACo) County Officials advancing Racial Equity (CORE) in Justice network members.
County Board Supervisor Pellebon joined a select group of county elected officials as part of the CORE Network in December 2022. Members of the CORE network were selected for their commitment to identifying and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the local criminal legal system.
The event focused on initiatives to advance racial equity throughout the criminal legal system and hear about the role and voice of lived experience in this work. County officials had the opportunity to share their current challenges and goals to advance racial equity.
Supervisor Pellebon’s presentation included the importance of the role of an elected County Board Supervisor in advancing racial equity including bridging the gap of understanding and centering the voice of the community, and using data to inform initiatives.
Supervisor Pellebon said "Dane County being chosen to present our work in reducing racial disparities in our criminal legal system for the National Association of Counties was an honor. We have dedicated our focus to listening and engaging the community in tangible ways to be a part of our process. Our staff has dedicated time and energy to engaging community partners, people with lived experience, and data driven results oriented solutions to be change we want to see in increasing racial equity in Dane County. Being able to highlight their work along with innovative programs like the Community Restorative Court and our new Community Court puts Dane County in the space of leadership across the nation. I especially want to thank County Executive Parisi for supporting this work and being a driver for reforms across our county."
Supervisor Pellebon was joined by Anthony Cooper Sr. who has direct experience with change—and is an important and long-time leader in proactively addressing racial equity and criminal justice reforms.
“It was an honor to be able to present with Supervisor Dana Pellebon but also to navigate how other systems have not yet tapped into working with individuals who have been affected by the criminal justice system as well as being able to build better bridges within community resources. It was interesting to talk to other states representatives that have not progressed as far as we have in Dane County, but it also highlighted how far we have yet to go,” said Cooper.