The City of Mankato dedicated resources to advancing racial equity beginning in 2016. Six city employees and the Executive Director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council participated in a year-long process in conjunction with 13 other jurisdictions as part of a statewide cohort of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE).
A Racial Equity Action Plan was developed as a result of participation in the cohort. The plan is an internal working document that will guide racial equity work. It reflects what the Racial Equity Team (RET) has worked on over the past year, establishing timelines, accountability and performance measures for each action. It outlines key steps to ensure employees are equipped with necessary training, knowledge and tools to integrate racial equity into their work and the organization as a whole. The plan will continually be enhanced and improved upon through future staff and community dialogue.
In January 2017 the RET partnered with the YWCA and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council to host multiple racial equity forums. Trained facilitators used the “It’s Time to Talk” format, guiding conversation using video clips from the PBS series Race: The Power of Illusion. We intend this to be the first of several such conversations and ongoing opportunities for employees to normalize and operationalize racial equity. As the team enters the Advanced Racial Equity Team year with GARE, the team has expanded, adding the Executive Director of the YWCA to the team.
Advancing equity and inclusion is critical to the success of our community, and we will continue to work toward four key goals by normalizing, operationalizing and organizing for change:
City of Mankato employees understand and are committed to achieving racial equity.
City of Mankato promotes inclusion and engagement of all community members.
Neighborhoods and people are safe and racial disproportionalities in the criminal justice system are decreased.
City of Mankato and the community provide programs and services that are responsive and reflective of community needs.