Here’s the press release. This announcement notably fails to answer questions about the quiet and unexplained departure of Bob Smith, the former director of the community relations council. The other interesting element – that the group is going to do more outreach with the local Hispanic population.
Press release here:
The Board of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council is pleased to announce that Sarah Nuñez, formerly with Western Carolina University, will begin serving as the new Executive Director for the organization on February 15, 2012.
Ms. Nuñez brings a wealth of experience in multi-cultural relations to the position. A native of Colombia and a resident of North Carolina for thirty years, Ms. Nuñez has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Latino Advocacy Coalition, and as a consultant for the Center for Diversity Education at UNC-A. Having worked closely with Buncombe County Health Department and DSS, she is very familiar with the issues that diverse families face, and has enjoyed coordinating such events as Fiesta Latina at the YMI Cultural Center.
While at Western Carolina University, Nuñez worked to promote college access to low income, first generation and minority communities as Regional Assistant Director of Admissions. She also developed a Latino Student Resource Guide, which was made available to area schools.
In announcing the selection of Sarah Nuñez to fill this important role for the 40-plus year old organization, Chairperson Larry McCallum noted that “because of Ms. Nuñez’s bi-lingual background, we will have the opportunity to serve a broader population. We were very impressed with her organizational skills, her high energy level, and extraordinary caring for all people. She has served on many boards and in many capacities in our community over the past fifteen years, and has established a strong reputation as a collaborative leader that will serve our organization well.”
Nuñez is “excited for this new opportunity to work with all segments of the community, so that we may become a more inclusive and equitable place to live. I believe that we can all have greater impacts and learn to work across lines of difference.”
Since its informal origins in the late 1950’s, the mission of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council has been to help people develop mutual respect and eliminate discrimination. Over the years the organization has mitigated conflicts in the community related to discriminatory practices, provided a forum for community dialogue, and worked to enhance the mutual respect of diverse groups in the community.
It is no surprise that they did not address this issue or the other issues that were raised over and over again. Despite assurances that would be proven to be empty of any substance from Gordon Smith that a new and truly representative CRC would be the outcome and despite his and others insistence that the questions raised with regard to administration and procedural matters would be addressed this has not occurred at least not in the light of the public. It has been from the beginning a cover up and a hype and spin exercise by the city council and some on the Board of the ABCRC who apparently had a personal vendetta against Bob Smith. It was business as usual no less no more.