Moorestown council launches diversity and inclusivity task force

Members will serve on an exploratory committee.

Soon there will be a new task force in town with one aim: making Moorestown a more welcoming and inclusive place for all.

At the township’s latest virtual council meeting, members discussed plans to create the Moorestown Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Task Force.It will serve as an exploratory, unofficial, ad hoc committee tasked with brainstorming ways to move the conversation on inclusivity forward in town. While it remains unclear if the committee will one day become permanent, Deputy Mayor Sue Mammarella said the potential exists.

Mammarella and newly sworn in council member Quinton Law provided those in  attendance at the Feb. 8 meeting with a broad overview of the council’s task force vision. 

Mammarella explained the task force will serve as a way to “assure our high quality of life for all our Moorestown residents and businesses now and in the future.” She has been engaged in conversations with Law about the group, and so far, the idea is that members will engage with one another to develop an action plan and recommendations to council on how to make Moorestown more equitable and inclusive.

Anyone who lives or works in Moorestown is invited to apply for a spot on the task force. Law elaborated that the hope is for as many members as possible from every section of town — regardless of race, faith, sexual orientation or gender identity — to apply and work together to shape a town plan. 

“I look forward to including as many members as possible from every neighborhood in town to work with us on this task force working for Moorestownians from every corner of the community,” Law noted. 

Mayor Nicole Gillespie said she appreciated the approach Law and Mammarella are taking. She said an ad hoc group is exactly how officials will figure out what the town needs to move forward. Gillespie and Mammarella were engaged in conversations about starting such a group for the better part of 2020, and the mayor connected with Law about the idea last summer. 

“I appreciate your broad call,” Gillespie noted. “We want all kinds of perspectives to think about how we make Moorestown welcoming and inclusive for whoever lives here.” 

Councilman Jake Van Dyken commended the exploratory approach as well. 

“It’s an excellent vehicle to get the town’s residents involved in these issues,” he said. “I like that we’re doing it in a very open and transparent way with this exploratory committee.”

Councilman David Zipin echoed the sentiment, saying that for real change to happen in town, officials have to get the community to coalesce around a plan. He said the task force will be a force step toward that.

“I think it’s been ignored for far too long; I think this is a great opportunity,” Zipin said. “I think there’s momentum to actually bring about some real meaningful change.” 

Apply to join the task force by emailing council@moorestown.nj.us and explaining why you  want to serve.