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An Update on Our DEIA Progress

Historic Oakland Foundation takes seriously our commitment to conducting our work by centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. As part of this commitment, we provide regular updates to all our communities to provide updates, invite feedback, and remain accountable to our stakeholders.

As we begin the new year and look forward to what is to come in 2023, we also have the chance to look back at 2022 and reflect on our work. This includes:

  • Community listening sessions: We introduced regular community listening sessions in 2022 to be able to more intentionally connect with and listen to all of the communities of Oakland.
  • Restoration and site enhancements: We addressed historical inequities by completing the restoration of the historic African American Burial Grounds. We also began plans to draw attention to Potter’s Field, completed the rehabilitation of the 1899 Oakland Bell Tower with a focus on accessibility, and had over $2.4 million included in the 2022 Infrastructure Bond to repave and repair Oakland’s roads with visitor accessibility in mind.
  • Programming and visitor experience: We continued to focus on evidence-based truth-telling in our historical interpretation and to reflect Atlanta’s diversity in all of our public programming, especially with the updated Sights, Symbols, and Stories overview tour, Illumine 2022 (with its focus on Oakland’s African American Burial Grounds), Capturing the Spirit of Oakland, and the new Día de Muertos event hosted in partnership with the Mexican Consulate.
  • Looking inward: We continued to refine our hiring processes, job descriptions, HR practices, paid internships, and staff, board, and volunteer training to elevate diversity, equity, inclusion, and access throughout the organization.

As we have noted before, this work is truly a journey, and we know we have so much more work to elevate diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all that we do. As we begin work this year toward our next strategic plan, we invite you to share your thoughts, feedback, and comments on our work by emailing

Continued best wishes from all of us at Oakland Cemetery,

Richard Harker
Executive Director
Historic Oakland Foundation

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