Equity and Justice in Bethlehem

The Town of Bethlehem aims to be a place where all people thrive, and where anyone can live, work, go to school, and visit without fear or intimidation.  We also recognize that eliminating hate, racism, and injustice will take all of us working together throughout our institutions, our town government, and our whole community.  This page features resources and updates on the community’s pursuit of equity and justice.

Town Resources

  • Resolution Supporting Black Lives
    On September 9, 2020, the Town Board passed a resolution supporting Black lives in Bethlehem.  The resolution affirmed that the town will advocate against racism in our community, commit to being anti-racist, and seek solutions that foster a better future for all, so that we may truly become a society and a nation “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
  • Comprehensive Plan Update 2022-2035
    The Town of Bethlehem has updated its Comprehensive Plan to help guide the future of our community from 2022 through 2035 in an effort organized under the theme, Bethlehem Forward.  The updated plan will include a vision that embraces a myriad of activities, including racial diversity, equity, and justice.  The updated plan will inform the community’s future land use, recreation, open space, development policies and programs, and infrastructure improvements, to name a few.

Community Resources

  • We Are Bethlehem - Community Working Group on Equity and Justice
    We Are Bethlehem is a working group composed of community residents who are committed to promoting equity and justice and celebrating the diversity of our community.  You can contact this group by sending an email to hello@wearebethlehem.org or visit their website at www.wearebethlehem.org.

    We Are Bethlehem has developed several projects in the community:
    • Factsheet: Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racism in Bethlehem, NY
      This is a resource created by the Bethlehem Working Group on Equity and Justice for all community members who want to learn more about what Black Lives Matter means - and what it doesn’t mean - and how racism has affected the institutions and systems around us.  It also provides information on opportunities to learn about and take action on anti-racism.
    • We Are Bethlehem Profiles
      We Are Bethlehem Profiles is a storytelling project in partnership with Our Towne Bethlehem.  The initiative is intended to share stories of people in our community, build appreciation of the diversity of experiences in town, and deepen the sense of community among the people who live here.  For more information or to tell your story, please contact us at Hello@WeAreBethlehem.org or click the button below.  You can also read some of our We Are Bethlehem Profiles below.
    • We Are Bethlehem StoryBoards
      We Are Bethlehem StoryBoards is a project designed to share stories, education, and messages about equity, justice, and diversity with members of the Bethlehem community, including those who live, work, and pass through the town.  These messages are posted in seven free-standing purple kiosks, one in each hamlet of Bethlehem and are updated each month.  We Are Bethlehem is looking for partner contributors to the StoryBoards, either groups or individuals, to help develop content for the seven kiosks.  If you are interested in partnering on this, please feel free to reach out at Hello@WeAreBethlehem.org.
  • Bethlehem CARES - Champions for Antiracism and Reinforcing Equity in Schools
    Bethlehem CARES is a group of community members who have made a commitment to speak up and take action towards dismantling systemic racism in the Bethlehem Central School District, in collaboration with district leadership.  They are committed to having hard conversations, actively promoting antiracist policies, and advocating for marginalized communities.  They seek to create an empathetic and inclusive school community that takes into account overlapping identities and experiences.  You can learn more about this group on their website or sending an email to contact@bethlehemnycares.org.

Equity and Justice in Policing

  • Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Final Adopted Plan
    The Town of Bethlehem completed a comprehensive Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative Plan in 2020-2021, as directed by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order of June 12, 2020. The purpose of the collaborative was to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy within our community and address racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.  This is the final plan adopted by the Town Board on March 24, 2021 and submitted to the state.  It is a first step in a process of pursuing greater justice, equity, and fairness in Bethlehem, and we hope to see many of these reforms - and more - implemented in the coming months and years.
  • The Bethlehem Police Department is committed to fair and equitable policing for all community members.  For more information about the Police Department, visit their pages on the town’s website.  You can also follow the Bethlehem Police Department on their Facebook page.
  • The Police Department’s focus is to better serve the public and build relationships with the community.  Please see this online form that allows community members who have had contact with the members of our Police Department to share their experiences with them.

Join Us

  • The Town of Bethlehem is always looking for diverse candidates for our town government.  Visit the Human Resources Department page or How Do I > Apply for > Job Opportunities for job openings and instructions on how to apply.
  • Please see the Town of Bethlehem’s Ethics Board for more information on the ethical standards of conduct that relate to town officials and employees.
  • For more information on racial equity and justice in Bethlehem, please contact us at equity@townofbethlehem.org