FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Groups Join Forces to Center Racial Equity in Government
New York, NY and Berkeley, CA — Today, Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) and Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society (HIFIS), two national organizations focusing on racial equity and inclusion, announced the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) as a joint project.
GARE is a national network of local and regional government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. GARE grows directly from the success of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI)—the first initiative of its kind in the nation to center racial equity across all aspects of local government.
Over the last year, we have seen exponential growth in both community and government’s understanding of the importance of addressing racial equity. Deep and persistent racial disparities with depressed life opportunities for all, along with changing demographics, have driven a national movement to build a more inclusive, responsive, and effective democracy.
“We can’t get to an effective democracy without taking on race and equity. Right now, we have the opportunity to move a meaningful “side-by-side” strategy that leverages both the power and innovation of communities of color and the power of local government to create racially equitable communities,” said Glenn Harris, CSI President and former Manager of the City of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice Initiative.
Through the partnership, GARE will continue to bring extensive experience to local and regional government to move a racial equity agenda, which includes normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new policies and practices, and organizing, both within government and with community. Understanding the impacts of race on our overall society is critical to our success. As partners, CSI and HIFIS will support GARE in its work while implementing connected strategies to align community, government, and academia to move towns, cities, and states toward racial equity and inclusion.
Director of HIFIS john a. powell said, “I’m excited about this partnership and our approach to promote structural and cultural inclusion for positive change. By bridging the strengths of community, government, and academia, we can start to address the deep and systemic inequities that impact our communities. This joint approach should be a model for our field—partnering on our resources and leveraging the greatest impact of our work for communities.”
Director of GARE Julie Nelson said, “In order for us to achieve racially equitable outcomes in our communities, it is critically important that we develop a network of government focusing on racial equity.” Julie added, “GARE becoming a joint project of CSI and HIFIS means we now have the opportunity to align community, government, and academia in a way that improves life outcomes for everyone, particularly for communities of color.”
Currently, GARE consists of 15 city, county and regional jurisdictions representing the following states: California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Additionally, GARE is working with over 100 additional local jurisdictions that have expressed interest in making racial equity a reality.
As part of its work, GARE provides tools and resources that government can use to advance racial equity. Community can also use these tools to engage government to commit to racial equity. These tools include:
- Advancing Racial Equity and Transforming Government – A Resource Guide: This guide is based on the lessons learned from practitioners, as well as academic experts and national technical assistance providers, to advance racial equity in government. Visit http://racialequityalliance.org/2015/10/22/resource-guide/ to download the guide.
- Racial Equity Toolkit: An Opportunity to Operationalize Equity: Thisracial equity tool is designed to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in decisions, including policies, practices, programs and budgets. Use of a racial equity tool can help to develop strategies and actions that reduce racial inequities and improve success for all groups. Visit http://racialequityalliance.org/2015/10/30/racial-equity-toolkit/ to view the toolkit.
- Dane County Racial Equity Analysis & Recommendations: GARE and CSI published a report outlining steps that Dane County, Wisconsin can take to move toward racial equity. Visit http://www.centerforsocialinclusion.org/dane-county-wisconsin-racial-equity-analysis-and-recommendations/ to download the report.
In the coming months, CSI, HIFIS, and GARE will release more tools for community, government, and academia to advance racial equity in local and regional government and to move toward a more inclusive democracy. Specifically, in 2016, CSI will launch a national open-source campaign and toolkit for grassroots organizations, particularly grassroots organizations of color, to partner with their local and regional governments to advance racial equity.
About Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE):
Government Alliance on Race & Equity is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. The Alliance is a joint project of Center for Social Inclusion and Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. www.racialequityalliance.org
About Center for Social Inclusion (CSI):
Center for Social Inclusion is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to catalyze local communities, government, and other public and private institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity. CSI crafts and applies strategies and tools to transform our nation’s policies and practices in order to create equitable outcomes for all. www.centerforsocialinclusion.org
About Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society (HIFIS):
Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and to affirmatively build a more sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable nation. http://diversity.berkeley.edu/haas-institute