GARE is Partnering with Living Cities on a Two-Year Project Called Racial Equity Here
Racial Equity Here is a cutting-edge initiative committed to advancing racial equity and advancing opportunity for all communities in five pilot cities:
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Austin, Texas
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Racial Equity Here started in 2016 and provides city governments with tools, resources, and training to help cities analyze how their operations impact people of color and develop an outcome-driven action plan. Project partners provide cities with technical support, tools, and best practices to dismantle practices that perpetuate disparate, racialized outcomes. Beyond programs, Racial Equity Here changes systems to shift the national dialogue around racial equity toward high, equitable outcomes for all.
The focus of this project is on improving outcomes for youth, recognizing that systems and structures have created racial inequities, and that early interventions to correct institutional inequities increases the likelihood of success for all our youth.
Racial Equity Here cities are part of a national movement of governments working to dismantle institutional racism, eliminate racial disparities and improve outcomes for all. Despite the fact that equality and justice are commonly held values in our nation, the benefits associated with these values have not been extended to all. Our laws and practices created and perpetuate racial inequities across all life indicators. Government leaders — in partnership with those most impacted by racial inequities — must now transform government to advance racial equity.
Why Racial Equity Here?
Racial inequities are not natural; they have been created and maintained by governments and other institutions. Our systems and structures were designed to create current outcomes—racial inequities across all indicators for success. People of color disproportionately lack access to opportunities, from quality education to good jobs with livable wages. These costly, deeply racialized systems that are failing communities of color are actually failing all of us. For us to eliminate racial inequities and expand opportunities for all, we must take on institutional and structural racism.
So many of the root causes of racial inequity—segregation, exclusion, concentrated poverty, and limited opportunities—are within the power of city government to change. Cities have always been laboratories for meaningful social and economic change. By understanding how municipal operations affect race and equity, governments can begin to transform systems to drive better outcomes.
Our youth are our future, and a city in which all youth are able to succeed is our priority. Structural racism has a profound impact on young people of color: it causes marked disparities in every part of their lives — school, work, housing, law enforcement. Yet despite the challenges, young people are creative, passionate and eager to build a more just future for themselves and their communities. Racial Equity Here works with young people and community and agency partners to not just treat symptoms but dismantle root causes of inequity, eliminating disparities and improving outcomes for all young people.
Racial Equity Here is an initiative of Living Cities and GARE. Learn more about GARE here.
About Living Cities: For 25 years, Living Cities has harnessed the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Living Cities Capital Innovation team blends public, private, and philanthropic financial resources in new ways to better meet the needs of cities and improve the lives of low-income people. Additional information can be found at www.livingcities.org.