On August 8, 2017 we administered a survey to all staff (including interns) during an allotted time on Time-out Tuesday to reflect on their individual competency as related to understanding and advancing racial equity. The survey was designed by Hafizah Omar, with feedback and input from Nadia Owusu and Ratna Gill. The questions from this survey were adapted from GARE’s Employee Survey for Local Governments, D5 initiative’s Field Survey, and additional best practices from the field.

The survey had a 97% completion rate, with only one staff member choosing to opt out. A number of themes emerged on the basis of the survey surrounding existing staff competency, perceptions on importance of racial equity work, comfort level with discussion of advancing racial equity in our work, etc. We recognized that, if we were going to ask staff to intentionally embed racial equity in their work, we had to ensure that staff are supported in this effort. Based on these learnings and realizations we created an internal group, Colleagues Operationalizing Racial Equity (CORE), whose work it is to create space for learning and growth as we work to embed racial equity in our daily practice.

One year later, on September 13, 2018, we administered our second annual Racial Equity and Inclusion competency survey to all staff to reflect on their individual competency as related to understanding and advancing racial equity. We will use this data to further understand where our time and energy must be spent in the coming year to continue to advance our competencies.

The survey had 40 respondents, which is a 100% completion rate.

As we analyzed the survey results – especially when looking at it as compared to the 2017 baseline – we had the following overarching takeaways:

  • There has been significant movement and progress on many fronts in a year’s time – a lot of time, energy, and effort has been invested by both leadership and staff at the person, role, and system levels. There is a lot to be proud of individually and organizationally

  • Still, this is a daily practice and an ongoing journey. The survey results points to some specific recommendations for ongoing attention and improvement.

This analysis is a deep dive into the themes and takeaways that came out of the evaluation of the Racial Equity and Inclusion competency survey.

The graphic below highlights some of our key findings and insights:

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If you have any questions or want to share your story on your racial equity journey, please email racialequity@livingcities.org