The City of Charlotte is engaged on several fronts to advance racial equity and opportunities for all. The City’s work aligns to broader community efforts related to the impact of racial segregation on economic opportunity in the city, with the Leading on Opportunity Report including racial equity work as a recommendation for institutions in Charlotte.
The City began working to apply the GARE racial equity tool in 2017, and identified several pilot projects comprising core city services to begin the work. An interdisciplinary, cross-departmental team of city employees participated in the workshops, developing action plans for services such as tree canopy maintenance and planting, water line rehabilitation and replacement, code enforcement, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, street sweeping and litter picking, and community engagement with shared decision-making in a corridor undergoing significant neighborhood change. The goal of the services selected was to examine process improvements and resource allocations related to the city’s standard methods for service order generation, which are mostly call and complain in nature.
Prior to the engagement with GARE, the city joined community partners to offer intensive 2-day workshops that define systematic racism and racial equity for city staff and the community at-large. The elected City Council, as well as executive level city staff, completes the training, and funding was included in recent budgets to offer the courses to a broad cross-section of city employees.
The goal with both the GARE work as well as the community-wide training is to build a shared narrative and understanding across institutions in the community such that the work of applying a racial equity lens to decision making can become embedded as part of the culture of multiple institutions.