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Diversity consultant for La Crosse County reports findings of year-long local study



After a year-long study of diversity issues within La Crosse County, a consultant has compiled a report on how the county can make changes to reduce inequalities for its citizens.

Chanin Kelly-Rae was hired last year by the county to lead listening sessions, and to contact hundreds of county residents about equity and diversity issues.

She told the county board that her discussions with local residents were more about personal concerns than about so-called “woke” attitudes in society.

“We didn’t talk about political parties, and political theory, or political belief systems,” Kelly-Rae said. “We talked about individuals and families…and what the county does well, and what it can do better.”

Kelly-Rae, who is originally from Milwaukee but now runs Chanin Kelly-Rae consulting out of Seattle, added that she did find many young people who felt “left out,” and heard that residents in rural areas feel slighted, compared to people in cities. However, she also found that people want to know more about how the local government works.

Kelly-Rae said affordable housing, more diversity in county employment and finding ways to decrease racism and discrimination were among her list of recommendations for the county.

She suggested the county make a “roadmap” for strategic planning that covers the next five years.

According to the 2020 census, La Crosse County is 91 percent white, with 5 percent of the county residents classified as Hmong or Asian.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Greg

    May 6, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    Paid for a “year-long study” on diversity…

    • Yvonne

      May 7, 2024 at 9:55 am

      And she’s from Milwaukee, why not hire someone from La Crosse who knows more than she does about local issues. What did they pay her for this year long study?
      We actually need lower taxes, getting rid of the drug dealers, druggies, lower rent for students and seniors,

      • Walden

        May 7, 2024 at 7:19 pm

        The consultant’s company operates out of Seattle; home of the left guard of the left wing of the Progressive movement.

      • Walden

        May 9, 2024 at 4:33 pm

        WIZM made mention of the Milwaukee connection in an attempt to make this farce more palatable to the poor saps paying for it.

        The consultant’s company is actually based in lefty lefty Seattle.

  2. Walden

    May 7, 2024 at 12:00 am

    “Year” long study? How about “Years long.”

    The same consultant issued a Diversity Equity and Inclusion report to the County Board a year ago May 18, 2023. This is basically the same report, rehashed, which kept the consultant on the payroll for a second year. And now the consultant wants to turn this into a strategic planning exercise, which will then turn into a tactical planning exercise, followed by unending updates on progress. Enough. Thank the consultant for her time already spent and be done with it.

    • DC

      May 7, 2024 at 6:31 am


    • Nathan

      May 7, 2024 at 7:55 am

      Do you know how much she has already been paid? What is the name of her company?

  3. LG

    May 7, 2024 at 7:35 am

    The diversity consultant recommended that we become more diverse. Imagine that. This is a ridiculous exercise in futility started by a bunch of liberal county supervisors designed to waste county taxpayer money.

  4. nick

    May 7, 2024 at 7:48 am

    More rural residents feel left out more. Always has been the case.
    This report was a waste of time and our taxpayer money.

  5. Kevin

    May 7, 2024 at 9:40 am

    More rural residents feel left out? Left out of what, higher municipal taxes, bike lanes to no-where, homeless folks camping in every piece of green space without homes/businesses, noise/trash from university rental housing parties, endless discussions on how the population of ethnicities (read as skin color) does not seem to reflect the distributions that DEI folks believe it ought too, do we close this public school or that public school, when we close the public school what should we do with it (fill it with illegals, turn it into parking lot), how much rental housing should there be in a residential neighborhood so that families need to move out (language, parties, etc…).

    Not really sure what they would feel left out of….

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