Pressure Mounts on Ohio Governor Kasich to Diversify Cabinet

Tom Beres, WKYC-TV, January 21, 2011

The lack of racial diversity in Governor John Kasich’s cabinet so far has begun to attract attention from national media.

Every one of the 20 full-time directors appointed by Kasich is white. There are no African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or Native Americans.

That’s prompted lots of criticism from African-American and other groups promoting diversity.

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On Friday, a racially diverse group of ministers and activists met at Trinity Cathedral to talk about strategy to preserve programs from upcoming budget cuts.

“If the Governor says something, nobody will have a different point of view, and if they do, they will not be comfortable saying it, so the democratic process is frustrated . . . this was a mistake in judgment and it can be corrected if it’s not racism,” said Rev. Marvin McMickle, of Antioch Baptist Church.

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But minority groups say many big corporations have significant diversity on their boards. And they argue that a Governor trying to do business with the world, should have a team that looks like the world.

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State Senator Shirley Smith claims the governor’s choices send a message to young people on the eve of Black History month.

“If we see an executive cabinet with all white people in it, it gives them nothing to aspire to,” she said.

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