The City of Cedar Rapids is in the emerging stages of our racial equity initiative. While the Police Department has been actively engaged in various equity efforts throughout the community including implicit bias training, core neighborhood involvement, community outreach programs, and participants in a community equity task force, we have acknowledged the necessity of expanding our equity initiative throughout the entire organization.
Recent efforts to grow our equity initiative includes expanding our organizational development curriculum to include Diversity and Inclusion training for our leadership and frontline employees, modifying our recruiting practices to be more effective in attracting diverse candidates, taking steps to “ban the box” from employee applications, and developing an equity impact assessment for departments to begin analyzing current and new policies and programs to assist in identifying inequities in services and create opportunities for more equitable outcomes. We are also developing an inclusive outreach and public engagement guide as a resource to ensure employees are inclusive and culturally appropriate as they seek public input on various programs and policies. In addition to these emerging efforts, an innovative program called, “Fully Involved”, was created by women in our Fire Department to inspire young women to consider pursuing a career in fire services.
As we continue to identify and address institutional barriers, we look forward to grow ing in our endeavor to become an increasingly inclusive and equitable organization. With the recent momentum to increase equity within the organization, we are excited to join the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and are eager to learn from other communities how to expand upon our equity initiatives.