The Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) and Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) released a four-year comprehensive plan to increase racial equity in Dane County, Wisconsin. The report is a roadmap to increase racial equity in the county, encompassing five recommendations to deepen understanding of and commitment to racial equity. The goal is to make Dane County government more inclusive and engaging, increase access to economic prosperity, ensure the safety of all neighborhoods, and promote good health for all residents.
Working with Dane County government officials, the report is the culmination of a six-month process that assessed the current state of racial equity in Dane County internal government operations, programs, and policies, and provides recommendations and indicators for success.
“We applaud Dane County for the deep commitment and strategic work toward eliminating racial inequity,” said Glenn Harris, President of CSI. “Dane County is well positioned to lead nationally, demonstrating that effective government is about advancing racial equity.” Julie Nelson, Director of GARE added, “With the right approach, government has the ability to integrate racial equity as a norm that is operationalized, putting values into action. Dane County, a member of our national alliance, is deepening their commitment to advancing racial equity and transforming government.”
Dane County experiences high rates of racial disparity across a host of community indicators of health and wellbeing. The report states that these racial inequities are not random; they have been created and sustained over time. Building on existing work and national best practices, the report shows how Dane County can work toward normalizing, operationalizing, and organizing toward racial equity by transforming government.
The recommendations, outlined in detail in the report, are for Dane County to:
- Develop infrastructure and tools to increase Dane County employees’ and residents’ understanding of and ability to advance racial equity.
- Implement strategies to ensure Dane County is an effective and inclusive government that engages community and is responsive to its needs.
- Ensure that Dane County’s communities of color share in the County’s economic prosperity.
- Ensure that all neighborhoods and people are safe and racial disproportionalities in the criminal justice system are eliminated.
- Ensure that all residents have healthy life outcomes.
Check out some of the local media on the report – kudos to Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan and Supervisor Stubbs for their leadership. According to Corrigan, “These recommendations build on valuable initiatives that Dane County has already taken. We’ve made important steps in the right direction and they will continue, but the scope and the seriousness of the disproportionate numbers really require systematic change.” Supervisor Stubbs added, “This analysis is direct about confronting the ineffectiveness of our current practices, our policies, and our procedure. It is a bold step to address the root causes that lead to racial disparities. The report is a blueprint for Dane County to move forward with racial equity.”
Check out the full report and the addendum which includes results of the employee survey and detailed templates for implementation action plans. CSI and GARE work with multiple sectors, including government and community based organizations, to make racial equity a reality in towns, cities and counties across the country. If you have questions about GARE or this report, please contact Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org.