True Democracy? Racial Equity Opportunities for Government and Our Communities
Presentation by Glenn Harris, President, Center for Social Inclusion at the Convening on Racial Equality in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 5th to 6th, 2014.
Moving from Outreach to Engagement – Community Partnerships for Racial Equity
Participants examined innovative strategies to eliminate racial inequities in employment practices and improve access to living wage jobs, in order to achieve economic justice for communities of color. Panelists from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle and Oakland will share new initiatives, programs and policies that bring together local and regional government, community organizations, anchor institutions, businesses and post-secondary educational institutions, and set clear goals for achieving racial equity in jobs. Participants will generate a set of issue areas for deeper exploration in small groups facilitated by the panelists. Groups will report back on critical questions and additional ideas, to develop a menu of strategic opportunities and considerations for communities and government partnering on this work.
- Diana Falchuk, Deputy Manager of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative
- Vina Kay, Interim Executive Director and Director of Research and Policy at the Organizing Apprenticeship Project in Minneapolis.
- Lance Knuckles, Access and Outreach Manager, ADA Title II Coordinator for Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations
- Moderator: Brett Buckner, Policy Consultant working with the Organizing Apprenticeship Project to develop local and statewide racial justice policy strategies
- Note Taker: Kevin Filbey, Fairfax County
Operating in Accordance with Our Values – Improving Access to Government Contracting
- “There are too many barriers to getting a government contract.”
- “I don’t have the capacity to effectively compete for government contracts.”
- “I keep calling but don’t get any responses. What am I doing wrong?”
- “How do I get work how do I get to work on a government contract”
- “There are too many barriers to getting to work like I need training, unions, etc”
- “I don’t know where to go or who to call.”
Sound familiar? These questions and comments are all too common, especially for small businesses owned by persons of color and people of color that would like to work on these projects. The good news is that there are many initiatives designed to help diverse businesses access government contracting opportunities and people of color to work on government projects.
During this workshop, we will discuss barriers to government contracting opportunities and workforce opportunities and identify creative solutions to overcome these barriers. We will also present some of the best practices around the United States that have proven successful in increasing government contracting for minority and women-owned businesses, and workforce options. We will utilize a process known as the Great Minds process to take you through identifying barriers and then how to break down those barriers. The discussion will be wide ranging from across the country to local issues in your own backyard.
- Avi Viswanathan, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, HIRE Minnesota
- Jessica Kingston, Saint Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity
- Aimee Chitayat, Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Economic Development in Diverse Communities
- Wanda Kirkpatrick, Director Equal Opportunity, Metropolitan Council
- Note Taker: Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor’s Innovation Project
- Operating in Accordance with Our Values – Notes
- Insight Center for Community Economic Development – Presentation
- Saint Paul EMS Academy – Presentation
Operating in Accordance with Our Values – Improving Access to Government Jobs
Government is one of the largest employers in the United Sates, and has been one of the more accessible employers for communities of color. Nevertheless, in most of our jurisdictions, the employment base does not reflect the full diversity of our communities across all areas and levels of work. This workshop will highlight the hiring practices of local, city, county, and state level government agencies. The panelists will discuss the barriers to employment as well as the methods and strategies that their respective agencies employ to diversify their workforce and to improve access to government jobs by communities of color.
- Karen Francois, City of Minneapolis, Urban Scholars
- Meghan Mohs, Ramsey County, Community Human Services
- Anna Kanwit, City of Portland
- Brenda Anibarro, City of Seattle
- Moderator: Toni Newborn, City of Minneapolis
- Note taker: Carmen White, City of Tacoma
- Operating in Accordance with Our Values – Summary
- Ramsey County – Presentation
- City of Seattle – Presentation
- City of Portland – Bias Awareness Document
- City of Portland – Talking Points
- City of Minneapolis – Presentation
From Policy to Power-Sharing – Creating Change in Educational Equity
In this interactive conversation, school districts and community partners will describe their communities’ and organization’s engaging and sometimes bumpy process of moving from creating a policy of racial equity within a school district through meaningful implementation at the school level. The workshop will bring all participants into the conversation and will tackle how districts can: share power and decision-making with community partners to craft benchmarks and accountability measures; the need for common language; how to create change at the personal as well as the systems level to make enduring change. Panel participants will provide concrete examples of experiences and processes that can be useful to other jurisdictions as they prepare to move from policy to implementation, measurement and accountability in an authentic and community-informed manner.
- James Burroughs, Office of Equity and Diversity, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Julia Freeman, Organizing Apprenticeship Project, City of Minneapolis
- Michelle Bierman, Office of Racial Equity, Saint Paul Public Schools
- Tom Malarky, National Equity Project, City of Oakland
- Moderator: Jane Eastwood, Office of Mayor Chris Coleman, City of Saint Paul
- Note Taker: Heidi Gill, National Equity Project, City of Oakland
Making Sure We All Have A Place to Call Home – Closing the Racial Equity Gaps in Housing
Racial inequities exist across the housing spectrum: whether we are homeless, where we live, the condition of our housing and whether or not we rent or own. We know that many disparate outcomes in housing are driven by policies that are race-neutral on the face, but still perpetuate inequities. Because housing and neighborhood segregation are closely connected with many other inequities, including jobs and education, it is especially important that our housing strategies foster racial equity. This workshop will explore new and emerging housing efforts to end racial inequities and the tensions between some investment strategies.
- john a. powell, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
- Rachel Godsil, Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law
- Joe Recchie, Praxia Partners
- Joy Marsh Stephens, ISAIAH
- Myron Orfield, University of Minnesota Institute on Metropolitan Stability
- Councilmember Steven Chavez, Metropolitan Council
- Moderator: Judith Mowery, City of Portland
- Note Taker: Kevin Frazell, League of Minnesota Cities
Innovative Partnerships to Support Place-Based Strategies for Racial Equity
In many cities, counties and regions across the country, communities, government and philanthropy are working together to strengthen neighborhoods. Challenges are abundant. How do we move beyond just outreach and support the leadership of communities of color in making decisions? What are the tools for housing affordability and job creation focused on geographic places? How can we strengthen businesses, create jobs, improve health and build infrastructure? How can development take place in a way that supports communities of color? When the market becomes “hot,” how can we support existing community members and prevent displacement? What is the influence of transportation? This workshop will feature place-based partnerships and strategies that are focusing on strengthening communities and neighborhoods and improving outcomes for all.
- Matias Valenzuela, King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative
- Larry Hiscock, Nexus Community Partners
- Denise Engen, Hennepin County
- Ben Duncan, Multnomah County, OR
- Moderator: Sarita Turner, Policy Link
- Note Taker: Maggie Potapchuk
- Innovative Partnerships to Support Place-Based Strategies for Racial Equity – Notes
- King County – Presentation
- Hennepin County – resentation
Healthy People / Healthy Communities – Closing the Racial Equity Gaps in Health and Improving Outcomes for All
The health of our communities is comprised of a complex set of factors, including the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. The World Health Organization holds that these circumstances – known as the social determinants of health – are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. This workshop will feature efforts to address the intersections of institutionalized racism and unequal health outcomes in our communities. Participants will gain an increased understanding of best and promising practices, tools and resources to support conditions in which all people can reach their full health potential.
- Monica Hurtado, Alliance for Racial and Cultural Health Equity
- Michelle Horovitz, Appetite for Change
- Kimi Watkins-Tartt, Alameda County Health Department
- Moderator: Paula Tran Inzeo
- Note Taker: Jordan Bingham, City of Madison
- Healthy People / Healthy Communities – Notes
- Healthy People / Healthy Communities – Intro
- Alameda County – Presentation
Environmental Justice – Creating and Protecting a Healthy Environment for All
Studies have shown that race and income are defining indicators of the disproportionate pollution contributing to environmental health disparities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The federal Environmental Protection Agency describes environmental justice as, “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” Nevertheless, in most of our jurisdictions, the need for broader participation of overly burdened communities in developing environmental policies and programs is great. What practices encompass “meaningful involvement”? How do we also move beyond process-based actions and toward outcomes that eliminate persistent environmental harms? This workshop will feature tips, lessons learned and best practices that lead to creating and protecting a healthy environment for all.
- Shalini Gupta, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy – Environmental Justice Atlas
- Ginger Cannon, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
- Anne Hunt, City of Saint Paul
- Mickey Fearn, Professor of Practice, North Carolina State University, College of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
- Moderator and Note Taker: Pa Vang Golberg, City of Saint Paul
- Environmental Justice – Notes
- Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy – Presentation
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board – Presentation
- Youth Programs – Presentation
Criminal Justice – Addressing Persistent Racial Inequities Throughout the Criminal Justice System
Racial inequities exist across all phases of our criminal justice system, from who gets stopped, to who gets arrested and prosecuted, to who gets convicted and how much time they serve. Much research has been done to document the disparities. For people in the field, the question is – what are the policy and practice changes that will allow us to eliminate racial inequities? Given that much of the disproportionality is explained by “race-neutral” policies that have racially disparate effects, how can we actually develop and implement strategies that promote racial equity? How can we address implicit racial bias that distorts decision-making at various stages in the criminal justice system and perpetuate racial inequities? This workshop will highlight best practices in the field.
- Angelique Kedem, Ramsey County Department of Corrections
- Justin Terrell, Justice 4 All Program Manager, Take Action Minnesota
- Henry Ramos, Executive Director, Insight Center for Community and Economic Development
- Moderator: Commissioner Tony Carter, Ramsey County
- Note Taker: Angela Russell, City of Madison
Transportation Equity – Don’t Leave Communities of Color Behind
Easy access to work, school, shopping and health care is critical for everyone’s success. Unfortunately, accessible and affordable transportation is not always available to all communities, and in fact, communities of color often times have to travel further to obtain better jobs, secure educational opportunities, obtain goods and services and get quality health care. Too often transportation policies can leave low-income people and people of color behind. To achieve racial equity in transportation, we need to create authentic partnerships between communities of color and governmental agencies. These kinds of partnerships can develop and implement strategies and policies that secure needed investments, spur mobility, produce economic opportunity and result in direct community benefits. This workshop will highlight recent successes and challenges when it comes to transportation equity.
- Anthony Newby, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
- Commissioner Duininck, Metropolitan Council
- Simran Noor, Center for Social Inclusion</li
- Moderator: Russ Adams, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Inequality and the Racial Wealth Gap
Economic contractions and expansions over recent decades have continued to negatively impact many communities of color, with racial wealth gaps increasing rather than decreasing. While the racial wealth gap is inextricably connected to many topics covered in other workshops, such as jobs, housing, and education, this workshop will focus on key tax and job policies and financial support systems necessary for a more equitable and prosperous economy for all.
- Anne Price, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
- Dan McGrath, Take Action Minnesota
- Madison Mayor Soglin
- ModeratorMaya Rockeymoore, Global Policy Solutions
- Note Taker: Sonali Balajee, Multnomah County