From the inception of our country, government at the local, regional, state and federal level has played a role in creating and perpetuating racial inequity. By understanding how municipal operations affect people of color and reproduce inequities, city governments can begin to address them in transformative ways here and now.
Racial Equity Here supports five U.S. cities committed to improving racial equity and advancing opportunity for all. Living Cities works with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a project of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, to provide technical support and coaching to the cohort of cities – Albuquerque, Austin, Grand Rapids, Louisville and Philadelphia – as they analyze how their operations impact people of color and devise actionable solutions.
Racial Equity Here resulted from a Living Cities task force, convened in response to Freddie Gray’s death, which brought together cross-sector leaders from our member institutions to create a new vehicle for action against the still-present effects of structural racism in U.S. cities. Through Racial Equity Here, the cities will complete a racial equity assessment of their core government operations with an intentional focus on opportunity youth – adults and youth of color aged 16 to 24, who are disproportionally out of school or work. Cities will also develop Racial Equity Action Plans with short-, medium- and long-term implementation strategies.
Beyond the city-led initiatives, Racial Equity Here will focus on changing systems and shifting the national dialogue around racial equity.