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On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nixon Signs Executive Order to Help Increase Diversity, Inclusivity in State Contracts

Press Release

Location: Jefferson City, MO

Saying that the values of Missourians include diversity, tolerance and equal opportunity, Gov. Jay Nixon today marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 by signing an executive order to promote greater inclusivity in state government contracts.

Executive Order 14-07 establishes the Missouri Disparity Oversight Review Committee to engage in a thorough review and analysis of the Missouri Disparity Study, and then make recommendations based on that review and analysis. The disparity study, currently underway by the Missouri Office of Administration, is designed to determine whether the State of Missouri is fully utilizing minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) in government contracts.

"One of the strengths of Missouri is the great diversity of our citizens, and that is reflected in our shared values of inclusivity, tolerance and equal opportunity," Gov. Nixon said. "Our efforts to promote greater involvement in state government by minority- and women-owned businesses must be focused, well-planned and ongoing. On the 50th anniversary of one of the milestones of civil rights in this country, I am tasking this committee with examining our ongoing efforts and determining how we can increase participation and inclusivity."

The 15-member committee, appointed by the Governor, will be led by Commissioner of Administration Doug Nelson. Beginning in August, the committee will meet to develop a report that will analyze the Missouri Disparity Study and recommend ways to increase minority and women-owned business participation, directly or indirectly, in state contracts. The report and recommendations are due by Dec. 31, 2014.

"I want to ensure we are doing everything we can to provide equal opportunities for all Missourians," Gov. Nixon said. "We must keep our focus on moving our state forward by removing the barriers of discrimination wherever they exist."

The Missouri Disparity Oversight Review Committee appointees are:

Rhonda Carter Adams, Executive Director, St. Louis/Eastern Missouri Area Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council

Lisa Althoff, Executive Director, Missouri Women's Council

Dr. Valerie Blackmon, Management Consultant, Blackmon Consulting
Anna Crosslin, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Institute of St. Louis

Charlotte Hardin, Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Board

Redditt Hudson, Regional Field Organizer, NAACP Region IV

Michael Middleton, Deputy Chancellor, University of Missouri-Columbia

State Representative Tommie Pierson, District 66, Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus

Karlos Ramirez, Executive Director, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis

Lyle Randolph, Vice President and General Manager, Isle Casino Cape Girardeau
Nia Richardson, Director of Business Development and Marketing, DuBois Consultants Inc.

Theresa Garza Ruiz, Political Director, Laborers' Local #264

William "Bill" Thornton, General Counsel, Missouri Department of Higher Education

Leonard Toenjes, President, Associated General Contractors of St. Louis

John Truesdell, retired Vice President, Rose International

During fiscal year 2014, funding was appropriated by the General Assembly to support a disparity study. The State of Missouri last commissioned a disparity study in 1994, which was completed in 1996.

Gov. Nixon has remained dedicated to promoting an equal opportunity workforce in Missouri. In 2010, Executive Order 10-24 was signed to promote a more inclusive and diverse state workforce and to ensure that discrimination in employment practices, state services and facility operation would be identified and eradicated. To carry out the Governor's order, the Office of Equal Opportunity has continuously worked to eliminate any potential discriminatory barriers to employment, while enhancing the state's efforts to provide equal employment opportunity and improve workforce diversity.

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