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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in his Denver office on June 5, 2019, the morning after winning reelection in a runoff. 

A new Denver entity aims to help break down barriers faced by women, racial minorities, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. 

Mayor Michael Hancock on Tuesday announced the creation of an Office of Equity and Social Innovation, which will focus on "eliminating disparities" and other obstacles that have historically kept those people from getting jobs, having homes and advancing in the community, says a news release.

Hancock has tapped his deputy chief of staff, Erin Brown, to become Denver's first Chief Equity Officer.

Brown will oversee a mayoral initiative to train city employees to provide better support to undeserved communities and develop practices and polices that seek to address inequities, according to the news release. 

On Tuesday, 100 city employees took an eight-hour course on government's role in tackling these disparities as Denver welcomes representatives from two nationwide networks, the National League of Cities, and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.

Mayoral appointees will receive similar instruction later this week, Hancock's Office said. 

A series of equity-focused roundtable discussions with community members will also begin on Wednesday, according to the Mayor's Office. 

The efforts build on Hancock's Equity Platform, intended to promote racial and social justice city-wide. The new office's two staffers, Stephanie O'Malley and Kimberly Desmond, will be responsible for establishing "tools and trainings" that supports those goals, the news release states. 

Denver Arts & Venues Cultural Affairs Director Tariana Navas-Nieves will focus on ensuring that all of Denver's diverse neighborhoods benefit from investments in arts and culture, the Mayor's Office said. 

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