REDI: Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

What is REDI?

REDI stands for race, equity, diversity and inclusion. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and the national discussion about racial equity and community/law enforcement relations, the Lakewood City Council approved the creation of a Lakewood community-wide dialogue and action plan.

Community Dialogue 

Interfaith Council Zoom meeting

Lakewood’s Community Dialogue is an ongoing process of communication among the City Council, residents and public safety officials with the goal of building on all the good in Lakewood and making our community the safest, most welcoming place it can be, for everyone.

The process began with assembling an Interfaith Council of Lakewood religious leaders to facilitate the dialogue and discuss related issues. Photo is from the first Interfaith Council meeting on REDI issues on July 2, 2020.

The broader Community Dialogue has been open to ALL Lakewood residents, not just those who are religious.

Over 200 residents have taken part and offered comments and suggestions. 

Open the Action Plan (updated)(PDF, 400KB)


Progress Report on Community Dialogue & the Action Plan

REDI-Community-Dialogue-Action-Plan-with-Updates.pdf(PDF, 400KB)

Initial steps

The City Council received initial input from the community at the council meetings of June 9 and June 23, 2020 when a total of about 50 residents came, and many spoke about the issues of racial equity and community/law enforcement relations. Many were African-American residents, who all expressed affinity for Lakewood as a community but also recounted personal stories of experiencing racial discrimination.

One longtime resident was a retired L.A. County Deputy Sheriff who served at the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station for many years. He described times when he was stopped by Sheriff’s personnel while walking in Lakewood in civilian clothes, apparently because someone called in about a “suspicious black man walking in the neighborhood.” Another resident described her pain at having to tell her son never to walk to shopping areas with a group of other African-American boys because of her experience that they would be looked upon suspiciously and stopped by law enforcement.

“The feeling I got from these residents was not that Lakewood is a bad place,” said then-Mayor Todd Rogers in June 2020, “but rather a community, like many others around the nation that can do better in making sure that all of its residents are treated with equal respect under the law and equally embraced as fellow neighbors by all. We’ve started the process of our community dialogue and action plan in Lakewood and we look forward to continuing to report back to residents on our progress and on how they can get involved.”

Zoom Town Hall meetings

Two Zoom Town Hall meetings were held in September 2020 with over 100 Lakewood residents participating. 

Residents unable to participate in the Zoom Town Halls had the opportunity to submit written comments, anonymously if they wished.

Several religious congregations held discussions on racial equity topics on Sept. 26-27, 2020, creating a "Weekend of Dialogue" in Lakewood. Those comments and recommendations were forwarded to the Lakewood City Council for review.

Community Action Plan created

The Lakewood City Council integrated the comments and recommendations received from the Community Dialogue process into a multi-point Community Dialogue Action Plan (approved by the council on Jan. 26, 2021) that includes:

  • Create a Council Committee on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Create a regular public Roundtable on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Create a Lakewood Multicultural Festival and Food Festival.
  • Provide training on racial sensitivity and inclusion to City officials and staff.
  • Enhance the City's work with teens on racial equity.
  • Organize more community talks with the Sheriff's Department.
  • Create neighborhood-level or park-level events for residents to meet their neighbors.
  • Publicize the public complaint process for the Sheriff's Department and the business discrimination process of the state and federal governments.
  • Unite members of different community groups in volunteer service projects.
  • Educate residents on the city motto of "Times Change, Values Don't." 
  • Public education on calendar commemorations that honor and celebrate the diversity of residents in Lakewood.

Agencies that help victims of discrimination

As part of the City of Lakewood’s ongoing Community Dialogue on race, equity, diversity and inclusion, the city annually publicizes the ways that Lakewood residents can protect their civil rights against discrimination. 

Both the state and federal governments have agencies and staff devoted to protecting the right of people to be free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or abuse in a variety of settings like housing, the workplace, school, voting, healthcare, public spaces, while patronizing a business, while interacting with law enforcement, and more. People may not be discriminated against based on their: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, primary language, citizenship, immigration status, disability, sex or gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status and more.

Examples of illegal discrimination:  

• An African-American couple is denied a table at a restaurant even though there are vacant tables available and other customers are seated immediately.

• Charging men and women different prices for comparable services, such as clothing alterations, haircuts, dry cleaning or drinks at a restaurant or bar.

• Denying re-employment or firing someone based on their service in the military.

To learn more or discuss a potential problem, contact:

• U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division at or (855) 856-1247

• California Department of Fair Employment & Housing at or (800) 884-1684

To make a complaint about discrimination, abuse of force, or any conduct or service by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel, go to or call 800-698-TALK. You can also contact the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station watch commander 24-hours a day at 562-623-3500. At both contacts above, you can also make commendations for excellent Sheriff’s Department service. 

For 29 years, the City of Lakewood has operated a Fair Housing Program to educate residents on their rights and eliminate housing discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability or age. Lakewood’s fair housing staff coordinates workshops for residents, assists with landlord-tenant disputes, and refers residents to the proper agencies for housing discrimination claims. To talk with Lakewood’s fair housing staff, call City Hall at (562) 866-9771, ext. 2140 or email

Use of Force Policy Review

As part of the City of Lakewood’s Community Dialogue, the city gathered resident input about the Use of Force Policy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is the law enforcement agency for the City of Lakewood. 

Note: This policy is carried out county-wide by the Sheriff’s Department. It is not a policy of the City of Lakewood. 

Cities around the nation are carrying out community reviews such as this as part of a periodic best-practice recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

To date, a City Council committee has reviewed the Use of Force Policy and two rounds of input provided by Lakewood residents, which included comments from residents both critical and supportive of the policy. With that input, the City Council has issued initial Draft Findings and Recommendations about the Use of Force Policy, which you can view below. The council is expected to issue Final Findings and Recommendations in the first half of 2022.

Draft-findings-on-Use-of-Force-Policy.pdf(PDF, 138KB)

Helen Putnam Award

In 2022, the League of California Cities awarded the City of Lakewood with its “Helen Putnam Award for Excellence” in enhancing public trust for Lakewood’s community-wide race, equity, diversity and inclusion plan.

Established in 1982 by the League of California Cities, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence is given annually to recognize outstanding achievements among California's 482 cities. The purpose of the award is to promote innovative solutions by city governments. The 12 winners in 2022 were chosen from 155 submissions.


Watch the Lakewood CityTV video