The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), in partnership with the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC), is pleased to announce two new Minnesota cohorts of governmental jurisdictions that will be systemically advancing racial equity in 2018. One cohort will be for jurisdictions beginning to work on racial equity and the other will be an Implementation cohort to build operational capacity and achieve community-level outcomes for those jurisdictions that were already a part of the 2016 and 2017 cohorts. Teams from government jurisdictions in Minnesota will make a one-year commitment to the learning year process, as described below. Registration is open from November 1 2017 – January 5 2018.
What is the Government Alliance on Race and Equity?
GARE is a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. GARE uses a three-prong approach:
- Supporting jurisdictions that are at the forefront of work to advance racial equity.
- Building pathways for new jurisdictions to begin doing racial equity work, including cohorts of new jurisdictions.
- Expanding and strengthening local and regional collaborations that are broadly inclusive and focused on achieving racial equity.
Government’s proactive work on racial equity has the potential to leverage significant change, setting the stage for the achievement of racial equity in our communities. Supporting targeted cohorts of jurisdictions and providing best practices, tools and resources is helping to build and sustain current efforts and build a national movement for racial equity.
What is an Advancing Racial Equity cohort?
Over the last decade, a solid field of practice has developed that advances racial equity and transforms government. The field of practice is based on the experiences of early adopters of racial equity within government. Cities and counties across the country have developed and are implementing racial equity initiatives or agendas and using racial equity tools. GARE cohorts implement proven practices and replicate success, changing the norm of what is expected and possible from government.
New jurisdictions can make use of the field of practice and begin and expand work on institutional and structural equity. Based on the experiences of leaders, the new cohorts will participate in a structured curriculum that focuses on strategies that normalize conversations about race, operationalize new policies and cultures, and organize to achieve racial equity.
The Implementation Cohort is for jurisdictions that have begun working on racial equity, have developed and are implementing a Racial Equity Action Plan, and are using a Racial Equity Tool.
May our jurisdiction sponsor an introductory cohort for a 2nd or 3rd consecutive year?
Jurisdictions that are interested in building greater breadth of knowledge and skills can send a new set of employees through the Introductory Cohort. We will provide your introductory team with all of the standard content, and will provide a more structured mechanism for building upon the Racial Equity Action Plans from the previous team. Introductory team members will participate in the quarterly Implementation Team meetings so that they can be oriented to your plan, take on a role in implementing it, and work with the Implementation Team to expand the plan for the following year.
What will a jurisdiction get out of participating in a cohort?
Each jurisdiction will receive tools and resources, including:
- A racial equity training curriculum, with cohort participants who are equipped to implement the training with other employees,
- A Racial Equity Tool to be used in policy, practice, program and budget decisions,
- Support for identifying and launching pilot projects that demonstrate where to start achieving racial equity outcomes in your jurisdiction
- A capacity building plan and organizational structure to institutionalize equity within their own jurisdiction,
- Example policies and practices that help advance racial equity, and
- Support on developing a Racial Equity Action Plan
Use of these tools and resources will vary depending on the opportunities individual jurisdictions identify. Technical assistance is provided by GARE to ensure responsiveness to the local conditions. Individual cohort teams may request additional training (additional fees apply) during the learning year to supplement their jurisdiction’s specific needs. Technical assistance is provided by GARE to ensure responsiveness to the local conditions of each jurisdiction.
How will the cohort be structured?
The structure will consist of monthly sessions, with a quarterly rotation between 1) skill building and strategy development, 2) an “Advancing Racial Equity” speaker series that connects community members to the process, and 3) peer-to-peer networking and problem solving. This quarterly rotation process allows for implementation of action steps as the year progresses.
Key components of the cohort will include:
- A curriculum that builds on the existing and growing field of governmental practices to advance racial equity.
- Technical assistance from GARE.
- An “Advancing Racial Equity” speaker series that will be an opportunity for cohort participants, community members and elected officials to come together to learn and strategize in the spirit of shared commitment to advancing racial equity and transforming government.
The Implementation Cohort is designed for jurisdictions that participated in previous cohorts or who are GARE members, and are ready for technical support on implementation of strategies and peer-to-peer strategizing. There will be quarterly half-day sessions for the Implementation Cohort, and team members will also be able to participate in introductory training sessions and the Advancing Racial Equity Speaker series. Implementation teams will also receive a more intensive level of support. GARE will…
- ….host a January 2018 orientation to establish a support framework for the implementation cohort learning year. (This will also serve as the opportunity for an implementation team to orient its jurisdictional introductory team to the racial equity action plan.)
- ….assign jurisdictional implementation teams to peer exchange circles to enhance the learning and exchange experience throughout the year.
- ….participate in establishing technical assistance sessions with a GARE team member for the coming 6 months. The schedule will be revamped mid learning year.
What is expected from participating jurisdictions?
Participating jurisdictions will:
- Identify team co-leads (2) and a group of no less than 6 employees. Teams should include leadership and staff committed to advancing racial equity and transforming government. Note: jurisdictions that participated in the 2017 cohort have the option of introducing a new team of participants into the introductory training cohort and/or continuing as a part of the implementation cohort.
- Complete an enrollment form that designates their team’s co-leads (2), team members, and provides information on jurisdiction-specific opportunities and challenges.
- Commit to attending each session and completing assignments between sessions. Location of events will rotate between sites to maximize in-person participation.
- Work with GARE and the League of Minnesota Cities to promote the “Advancing Racial Equity” speaker series to elected officials, government staff and community partners.
- Contribute towards the learning year costs (details below).
What are the participation fees?
GARE does fundraising from nongovernment sources to reduce program costs to participating jurisdictions and minimize barriers to entry. Our fee structure is based on the numbers of members on a team. Jurisdictions that are GARE Core members receive a discount on cohort participation fees. For more information on GARE membership, please review https://www.racialequityalliance.org/members/join/ or talk with Gordon Goodwin (see contact information below.) GARE members make a commitment to using racial equity tools to create change internally and at the community level.
Fees include training, materials, meeting logistics / meals and technical assistance.
Is there an alternative to the Learning Year for jurisdictions that are not in the Twin Cities Metro?
Jurisdictions interested in the Learning Year process who are not located in the Twin Cities metro area should contact Kevin Frazell or Rachel Walker at The League of Minnesota Cities (651-281-1200) to investigate potential arrangements for group training opportunities
What is the curriculum?
The curriculum and dates are outlined below. Note that 2018 participants are encouraged to join the Class of 2018 at their Commencement in December 2017 to get a sense of the learning year and strengthen continuity between the two years.
The curriculum will be subject to adjustment as the year moves forward to allow responsiveness to the specific needs of teams. Please note: the half-day implementation sessions will take place on the same days as the core training to allow alignment of team activities.
What is the commitment of jurisdictional teams?
To participate in the cohort, jurisdictions will:
- Commit to send a team of people to the entire series. This represents a commitment of 64 hours per person at cohort events, plus completion of action steps between sessions.
- Work with GARE and LMC to promote the Advancing Racial Equity speaker series to elected officials, government staff and community partners.
- Training cost (see above). All events will be in the Twin Cities region.
What is the role of GARE?
- Manage and implement the overall project, including provision of training, sharing of curriculum, tools and resources, arrangement of speaker series, communications and outreach, etc.
- Provide the following for all jurisdictions participating in the cohort:
- Best, promising and next practices. Practices will include racial equity tools, racial equity training curriculum, model policies, and surveys.
- Cross-cohort learning opportunities, including peer-to-peer exchanges, as well as technical assistance from academic and advocacy experts.
- Technical assistance on cross-jurisdictional priority areas.
What is the role of the Minnesota League of Cities?
- Assist with recruitment for the series
- Disseminate information to LMC membership and provide publicity for special events
- Assist with meeting logistics
- Feature the work of participating jurisdictions in LMC publications and training sessions
- Work with GARE to obtain foundation funding
Questions? Please contact:
Gordon F. Goodwin, GARE Midwest Region Project Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org, (763) 258-3328) or Kevin Frazell, League of Minnesota Cities Director of Member Services, (email@example.com, (651) 281-1215.)