After qualifying as a candidate for Brookhaven’s City Council election, John Funny resigned from his role of chairman of Brookhaven’s Social Justice, Race, and Equity Commission.

Funny announced his resignation during the commission’s Aug. 19 meeting. The city established the commission in September 2020 in response to last summer’s national outcry around social justice and police brutality. The commission is tasked with recommending improvements to the city’s vision and mission statement, city hiring and retention practices, procurement and contracting, and policing.

“Tonight is my last time in this role, as I’m resigning the position,” Funny said. “Some of you may recall that I announced in June that I would run for Brookhaven City Council for District 4 … Yesterday, I officially qualified for the race, which necessitates my resignation.” 

Brookhaven businessman John Funny has announced he is resigning from his position as chair of the Social Justice, Race, and Equity Commission.

Funny announced his bid for the District 4 seat on June 15. Qualifying for Brookhaven’s City Council election ends Aug. 20 at 4:30 p.m. 

Funny thanked the mayor and council for selecting him to lead the commission and all of the commissioners for their work over the past year. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me over the past year, to learn from you,” he said. “My hope is that I was able to likewise allow you to learn a little something or two from me.” 

Funny said that Commissioners Tywana Minor and Danita Knight, who both serve as vice chairs, will take the lead in his absence. 

The meeting also included a summary of the commission’s community engagement process so far, including information about the commission’s Civic Dinner process. The commission partnered with the company Civic Dinners – now rebranded as Inclusivv – and hosted dinners across the city where residents could sign up to attend and have conversations about racial equity. 

According to a presentation, 151 people attended the dinners. Out of that 151, 117 completed the post-dinner survey. Ninety-two of those 117 were residents of Brookhaven.

Of those 92 residents, 68% said their self-awareness around racial equity had improved, and 79% said the city should make racial equity a top or significant priority in policy making. 

The commission also hosted seven pop-up events throughout the city, where they asked individuals to complete a survey. Of the 134 people who completed a survey, 83 were Brookhaven residents. Eighty-two percent of those residents said they thought the city should make racial equity a high or significant priority. 

The commission also gave an update on the progress of council district meetings. According to the presentation, a District 1 public meeting took place on Aug. 10 and a District 2 meeting was held on Aug. 17. District 3’s meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Brookhaven City Hall at 4362 Peachtree Road. District 4’s meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Aug. 31 at the Latin American Association at 2750 Buford Highway. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.