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The first meeting of Bend’s Human Rights and Equity Commission ended with a discussion about the best way for the city to conduct interviews.

Commissioner Jasmine Wilder wondered if Bend city councilors should have done blind interviews of the potential commissioners. Would it have meant that even more people of color were appointed to the commission?

There are several ways to do blind hiring. Basically it is a way to hire people to block out their personal information that may bias a hiring decision. One more famous example was the effort of the Boston Symphony in the 1950s to have musicians audition behind a screen. That way it was the performance that mattered — not race, not gender nor any number of other factors.

We’ll have to wait and see if the commission is truly able to create changes in city policy and in Bend. It sure seems like the commissioners are going to try.

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