The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is working to advance racial equity and increase opportunities for all communities. GARE is building the field of practice to advance racial equity within and through government.
GARE was launched by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (HIFIS) at the University of California Berkeley in early 2014. In the Fall of 2015, GARE was established as a joint project of HIFIS and the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), with GARE formally establishing itself as a program of CSI. In 2017, CSI merged with Race Forward, a national tax-exempt non-profit organization that catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. Race Forward crafts and applies tools and strategies to transform our nation’s policies and practices, in order to achieve racial equity.
GARE leverages a multi-sector approach to address racial inequity. GARE proactively integrates areas of expertise of each of the partners, working intentionally to build the movement for racial equity across multiple sectors, including academia, government, and community-based organizations. The GARE Membership Network is organized via a Steering Committee and committees based on work plan priorities, including regional networks and subject area working groups. In addition, a Technical Assistance Advisory Group is made up of national leaders on racial equity. These leaders are experts in topics, and provide issue and practice expertise to GARE.
For information about membership, contact Rachael Wyant at email@example.com.
GARE Strategies & Approach to Racial Equity
Many current inequities are sustained by historical legacies, structures and systems that repeat patterns of exclusion. Government has the ability to implement policy change at multiple levels and across multiple sectors to drive larger systemic change.
Racial equity means we eliminate racial disproportionalities so that race can no longer be used to predict success, and we increase the success of all communities. We set goals and measures to track our progress, with the recognition that strategies must be targeted to close the gaps. Systems and structures that are failing communities of color are actually failing all of us, economically and psychologically. Advancing racial equity is to our collective benefit.
GARE’s focus is on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new policies, practices and organizational cultures, and organizing to achieve racial equity. We are seeing more and more jurisdictions that are making a commitment to achieving racial equity, focusing on the power and influence of our own institutions, and working in partnership across sectors and with the community to maximize impact. There is an increasingly strong field of practice. We are organizing in government with the belief that the transformation of government is essential for us to advance racial equity and is critical to our success as a nation.
GARE’s strategies include:
- Organizing a membership network of jurisdictions that are working to advance racial equity
- Expanding pathways for new jurisdictions to begin doing racial equity work via work with individual jurisdictions
- Supporting and building local and regional collaborations that are broadly inclusive and focused on achieving racial equity
The remainder of this document focuses on the GARE Membership network. Following early collaborative work in 2014-15, GARE transitioned to a formal membership network in 2016 to meet the needs of jurisdictions, expand the network, and streamline administration. We have intentionally selected a network as a model, recognizing that there are commonalities across our jurisdictions, and that jurisdictions are also uniquely situated. A network allows us to expand a common field of practice, lift up success, and share information, ideas and resources in order to achieve individual and group goals. We have a field of practice that is member-generated and reflects shared values and objectives. As described in “Connecting to Change the World,” networking describes a process of using or creating connections between individuals, groups, or organizations to acquire resources and build power.
What is the GARE Membership Network?
GARE Membership Network members collectively determine work plan priorities and lead the work to carry them out ( subject to CSI’s legal and budgetary parameters and its organizational goals). GARE builds and strengthens the connections between members in order to quickly access each other’s knowledge and expertise to achieve better, more effective outcomes at scale. The connections fostered by GARE have become increasingly important as government at multiple levels (cities, counties, regional jurisdictions, states and the federal government) works to advance racial equity and transform government into an effective and inclusive democracy.
The GARE Membership Network work plan priorities are determined by our members. Sometimes individual members are interested in supplemental technical assistance, such as conducting jurisdictional racial equity assessments, developing racial equity work plans, conducting racial equity training or capacity building, etc. Other members may be exploring the implications of committing to centering racial equity in their policies, practices, and programs for the first time. What binds the network is that regardless of the development arc a jurisdiction, each remains committed to taking the steps necessary to advance racial equity effectively within their respective institutions. Members may enter into supplemental contracts with Race Forward for such jurisdiction-specific work to be performed by Race Forward/ GARE or its Technical Assistance Advisory Group.
What does it mean to be a member? What are the membership benefits?
Core Members are those jurisdictions that have made a commitment to advancing racial equity across the breadth (all functions) and depth (from frontline staff to appointed and elected leadership) of their jurisdiction. This commitment can be demonstrated by development and implementation of a Racial Equity Work Plan or Strategic Plan, integration of racial equity into other strategic or operational plans, use of a Racial Equity Tool in routine decision making, and/or adoption of legislation that describes the jurisdiction’s commitment.
In addition to being a part of a peer-to-peer Network, Core Members have access to training and facilitation from GARE and its Technical Assistance Group (as delineated on an annual basis in the work plan); members-only resources that support peer-to-peer connections; specific tools, such as the Racial Equity ScoreCard and Results Based Accountability software; and support on the development of new policies and implementation of best practices via issue papers. An Implementation and Innovation Fund is anticipated in 2016; only Core Members will have access to grants from this fund.
Core Members pay annual dues on a sliding scale, based on number of employees:Core Members pay annual dues on a sliding scale , based on number of employees:
Up to 1,000 employees = $1,000
1,001 to 4,000 employees = $3,000
4,001 to 8,000 employees = $7,500
8,001 to 14,000 employees = $10,000
14,001 to 20,000 employees = $15,000
More than 20,000 employees = $20,000
Membership dues determined on an annual basis, with these rates effective July 1,2018. A jurisdiction may become a member at any point during the year; annual renewal dates will be based on the original date of joining.
Associate Members are community based organizations, academic institutions, and philanthropic organizations who are committed to advancing racial equity and transforming government into an effective and inclusive democracy.
Affiliate Members are community based organizations, academic institutions, and philanthropic organizations who are committed to advancing racial equity and transforming government into an effective and inclusive democracy. Affiliate Members provide community and cross-institutional support and encouragement for government to tackle proactively racial inequities. Membership dues for Affiliate Members are on a sliding scale basis. A pilot of the Affiliate Membership is running in early 2018 to determine how to take this aspect of GARE membership to scale.
All members are invited to the GARE Annual Meeting.
How does a jurisdiction become a member?
How are regional hubs developed and supported?
GARE is also working with individual jurisdictions across all regions of the country. It is clear that regions are at varying developmental phases. The role that GARE is playing differs from region to region based on the developmental phase and needs of the region. The Steering Committee provides the opportunity to support and expand regional networks. For regions with traction / critical mass, GARE’s national fund development can be used to leverage local foundation dollars to provide additional regional infrastructure.
How does subject-area organizing take place?
Building peer-to-peer relationships based on subject area expertise helps to expand the field of practice, share success, and problem solve challenges. When becoming a GARE member, jurisdictions complete a directory of key point people by topic, e.g., workforce equity, contracting equity, policing, libraries, equitable development, etc. Members identity priority subject area to explore opportunities or challenges, and staff support is assigned based on these priorities. Specific action items may emerge via implementation of the annual workplan.
Results of subject area organizing can include:
- Production of an issue paper that describes the racial inequities in the given topic area and recommends best, smart, and promising practices.
- Development of a shared action agenda, including goals, strategies and next steps.
- Problem solving and strategizing on challenging situations.
Subject matter groups should include individuals that have knowledge or expertise in the area, as well as individuals who provide fresh perspectives, or who can take the discussion in new and innovative directions. Wherever possible, groups should include a mix of jurisdictions. Work products will be received by the Steering Committee for dissemination to the full membership.
What are the GARE Membership Network belief statements?
- Race matters – although tensions or anxiety can sometimes be a part of conversations about race, we know it is necessary for us to name race head-on, both in the details of our work and how we work with each other.
- Inclusion matters – people impacted by a decision should be engaged in the decision-making process.
- History matters – while the institution of racism was created well before our time, we are dealing with both the historical legacy and current reality. Racism and racial inequities have resulted in trauma, both to individuals and to communities. A trauma-informed approach to our work is necessary for our collective humanity.
- Leadership matters – Transforming our systems towards greater racial equity requires consistent and courageous leadership. We recognize the importance of formal and informal leadership. We support formal leadership working to advance racial equity, as well as the development of emerging leadership.
- Understanding matters – Our institutions, systems and structures are complex. To transform our institutions and organizational cultures, it is critical that we develop a more nuanced understanding of that complexity. This includes moving beyond only quantitative approaches and incorporating qualitative and experiential ways of knowing
- Movement matters – Racial inequities have been intentionally created and maintained over an extended period of time. They will not disappear on their own. To advance racial equity, we must be organizing within our own institutions and across institutions, always putting community at the center.
We believe that a racial equity movement must build and expand the engagement of governmental jurisdictions (and others) across the country.
- Power matters – Because power has so often been used to perpetuate inequities, we recognize that we can sometimes have an awkward relationship with power. We believe in intentionally examining, considering, negotiating and claiming power that advances racial equity.
- Learning matters – Creating environments of learning within and between our organizations will help to replicate success, expand learning from each other’s experiences and leverage change. Our network and this movement will benefit from continuous, intentional learning and feedback.
In the spirit of continuous learning, we will refine these statements on a routine basis.
What is the membership process?
What if I have questions?
2018 Government Alliance on Race and Equity Membership Network Governance
The Steering Committee is responsible for:
- Development and implementation of an annual workplan, including implementation of sub-committees and tracking of progress of sub-committees (regional and topic-based);
- Reviewing and approving operating procedures, structural adjustments, and changes to the membership agreement;
- Ensuring integration of the Membership Network with the larger body of GARE work;
- Maintaining communications and accountability with the full membership;
- Development and implementation of a three- to five-year strategic plan;
- Making recommendations to Race Forward on proposed annual action plans, longer-term strategic plans and emerging priorities.
The Steering Committee consists of:
- 2-3 representatives from each of the regional networks (Northwest, West, Midwest and South, and East). The regional representatives to the Steering Committee are expected to facilitate two-way communication between the Steering Committee and the region;
- 1 or 2 representatives from the Center for Social Inclusion (other than the Director of GARE);
- 1 or 2 representatives from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society;
- 3-5 representatives from GARE’s Technical Assistance Advisory Group;
- Director of GARE
The members listed above will determine if there are any gaps, such as form of government (city, county, regional), demographics (racial, urban / rural, etc), and experience (newer versus more experienced jurisdictions), and will supplement the Steering Committee to fill these gaps as needed on an annual basis.
The Steering Committee will select two members as co-chairs. The co-chairs will work with the Director to:
- Develop monthly agendas;
- Expand membership, adding new jurisdictions on an on-going basis and providing a smooth and seamless on-boarding process, and support regional organizing;
- Draft clear operating procedures and structure, including decision making; and
- Ensure integration of the Network with the larger body of work of GARE
Steering Committee members and Steering Committee Co-chairs will serve two-year terms and be staggered to ensure continuity, as well as the development of new leadership.
How does the GARE Membership Network communicate?
- Overall, the GARE Membership Network communicates via monthly conference calls and e-mail updates.
- Agendas for the monthly calls are based on priorities identified in the work plan and emerging topics identified by the Steering Committee.
- An annual meeting / convening takes place to do deeper planning, share technical and practical expertise, and organize
- A members-only Dropbox site provides a mechanism for members to share resources. The members only Dropbox file contains meeting agendas, notes, documents and resources.
- Communication amongst regional and subject-area working groups varies depending on the preferences of the members involved.
- The GARE Membership Network directory provides a mechanism for making network-within-the-network connections based on lines of business or areas of work.
- GARE’s website provides an outward facing platform that provides information about GARE broadly.
How does the GARE Membership Network make decisions?
The success of GARE as a network is largely dependent on the engagement of its members. Members collectively determine priorities and lead the work to carry them out (subject to Race Forward’s legal and budgetary parameters and its organizational goals).
All bodies of GARE, including the Steering Committee, regional networks, and subject area committees will strive to make decisions by consensus. We believe collaborative and inclusive decision-making where members are engaged in the development and implementation of decisions will strengthen our work as a network. As a resource, we will utilize the “Short Guide to Consensus Decision Making” from Seeds for Change. In the unanticipated but potential event of conflict, and when decisions must be made, decisions may be deferred to the Steering Committee, or the Steering Committee may defer to the Director of GARE, the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society Director, and the President of Race Forward. It is important to note that GARE is a program of Race Forward, a national tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, therefore, all decisions must be in furtherance of Race Forward’s mission, organizational goals, and charitable activities. Routine administrative decisions and overall oversight for the activities of GARE and its programs, including the GARE Membership Network, will be the responsibility of Race Forward.
Decisions relating to our field of practice, as delineated in issue papers, strategies and model policies will be developed making best use of our own internal expertise, supplemented by our Technical Assistance Advisory Group and academic experts. Our collective work should set the bar for what jurisdictions are working towards individually. Jurisdictions are situated differently and have jurisdiction-specific priorities and challenges; having shared collective priorities and strategies will help to develop our field of practice. GARE sets the vision for transformation, with jurisdictional implementation varying from place to place.