2018 Program: Inclusive Democracy
In 2017 Race Forward produced a racial equity readiness assessment tool for workforce development agencies to clarify how racial bias and inequity is operating within their institutions and provide concrete steps for proactive measures to counter those policies and practices. This workshop will introduce participants to the racial equity readiness assessment -- how it works, where it can be applied, and what other engagement strategies are necessary to get tools off the ground and into practice. The workshop will include testimonials and lessons learned from workforce development agencies who have applied the toolkit in their own organizations.
Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.
Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.
Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.
Climate change is forcing cities and communities around the country to adopt radical changes in how they produce and consume energy. Even though the federal government has withdrawn from the "Paris Accord", cities and states, including California, NYC, and more, are maintaining their commitment to cut carbon emissions and invest billions in renewable energy. This session will explore opportunities for communities of color to benefit from new energy technologies in terms of environment, economy, emergency preparedness, and more.
Presenters will discuss strategies for building renewable energy systems like solar, wind, and geothermal, to name a few. Strategies discussed will include public policies, local finance, job training programs, business development, and other skills necessary to mitigate environmental pollution and build local economies.
Presenters and participants will include activists, policymakers, and community organizations in cities like NYC, Atlanta, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis, Seattle, and more, and will include coalition members of the 100% Equitable and Renewable Cities Initiative, Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge, US Climate Action Network, and more.
How do I get my local government to incorporate racial equity across all departments? Where should the initiative be housed? There is frequently resistance to new initiatives and sometimes racial equity work is treated like an extraneous “add on.” Shrinking budgets, increasing mandates, and broad service areas add to the challenge of doing racial equity work systemically.
When the County of Monterey’s public works division faced a state review for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, they turned to the County’s Equal Opportunity Officer for assistance. Utilizing racial equity principles, an inside/outside approach, and existing County structure, the team took advantage of the “open window” to develop a Title VI Plan for all of Monterey County, revise nondiscrimination policies, and rename the Equal Opportunity Office to the Civil Rights Office. The new identity gave us reason to work collaboratively with the community and an opportunity to work with all 26 County departments on some basic racial equity principles. The community gained a plan that they can lean on when they do not think we are working to engage them equitably and that helped developed new relationships with County staff.
In this session, we will work with participants to develop a wish list related to racial equity in their community. Utilizing our experience in Monterey County and broad knowledge of County functions plus the expertise of those gathered, we will identify potential windows of opportunity to incorporate wish list items into existing programs, plans, and compliance structures.
Looking for new ways to engage under-resourced communities and expand capacity for authentic, balanced partnerships? Come learn about three tools used by a group of NGOs who launched an effort to “expand the circle” by engaging under-resourced communities in decision-making and advocacy. These pilot projects demonstrate how to empower underserved communities through non-traditional partnerships across the race and class lines. These recommended strategies can bridge the gaps and increase capacity between entities from all sectors (local and state government, environmental organizations, residents, and community-based organizations) to create long-lasting organizational and institutional change.
The pilot communities and tools highlighted include:
• Jefferson County, WV (rural): Expanding the conversation through cross-sector networks
• Anne Arundel County, MD (suburban): Connecting community needs to institutional resources
• Baltimore, MD (inner-city): Building culturally competent relationships
The session will include rotating small group dialogues that explore the community engagement tools used in each pilot and an interactive panel discussion about the recommendations for organization and institutional change. Participants will split into three groups, with each presenter spending about 15 minutes per group. They will share the tool used in their pilot project and facilitate a discussion about application in the participants’ local contexts. Participants will then reconvene as a full group and engage in an interactive, extended dialogue with the three panelists about the projects’ overarching recommendations for creating organizational and institutional change. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge and tools to empower them to enact organizational and institutional change in their localities.
According to a recent study, the average black family in America would need 228 years to build the same wealth as the average white family. For many individuals and families, property ownership can be a key step toward wealth-building; yet people of color often face barriers when trying to borrow money due to factors like lack of access to equity capital, poor credit, or perceived “riskiness”. In this session, participants will identify systemic challenges borrowers of color encounter when trying to access capital through two interactive case studies, and then engage in a discussion about existing and potential solutions to address this problem. Facilitators from Capital Impact Partners, a national community development financial institution, will lead a conversation about how to develop programs and financial tools to serve a diverse group of borrowers. The conversation will cover Capital Impact’s efforts to design responsive solutions that provide the right type of capital, training, and technical assistance to support food entrepreneurs and local real estate developers in Detroit and Michigan through the the Michigan Good Food Fund and Detroit Equitable Development Initiative programs. Participants should attend the session prepared to think out loud about systemic and policy barriers that prevent people of color from fully participating in the local and regional economy. Through group discussion, workshopping, and presentation, the session will provide community development practitioners and systems thinkers with tools and ideas to design action plans that improve how borrowers of color access capital in their communities.
Knowledge is (White) Power (KWP) is designed to trace the white supremacist origins of public education—emphasizing the institutionalization of various racial tropes designed to create and reinforce the social hierarchy we experience today. Due to the cross-institutional nature of white supremacy, KWP is designed to incorporate elements of pop-culture with government policies (i.e. housing), as examples of how no single system (i.e. education) could propagate white supremacy without the expressed reinforcement of other institutions.
Participants will be guided through a series of multimedia presentations, dyads, small group conversations, and writing activities—all of which are designed to connect the systemic structure of white supremacy with the personal narratives of our participants. Our goal is to both inform as well as create space for something experiential. It is our belief that the pairing of a chronological review with more contemporary, heartfelt experiences will have a greater impact on participants and thus increase the likelihood that they will incorporate this co-created experience into their daily lives. By the end of KWP, participants will better understand the role of race in the formation of public education and the larger web of recurring racialized themes which inform many of today’s K-college institutions. Finally, our guests will leave with a collectively generated, real-world list of ways to mitigate the impacts of white supremacy in our school systems from the home to the local, and state levels respectively.
Articles like "Is San Francisco Losing Its Soul?” or “San Francisco’s Alarming Tech Bro Boom: What Is the Price of Change?” and “San Francisco’s Diversity Numbers Look More and More Like a Tech Company’s” have become the norm for characterizing the city. As the refrain goes, the rising cost of living in San Francisco is forcing out the city’s teachers and artists, who are being replaced by engineers and wealthy businesspeople drawn by the tech boom. The “Outmigration of Blacks” has been both a silent and apparent social issue in San Francisco, and the Bay area overall. With San Francisco being one of the most expensive cities to live in on the globe, much of community has wondered how local city government prioritizes this specific issue.
With robust, high impact priorities, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, has engineered efforts on Equitable Access, Cannabis Equity Post-Legalization, the San Francisco Fair Chance ordinance, Tech Equity and LGBT Initiatives that address social issues with an intersectional framework. Director Sheryl Davis and Policy Advisor Aria Sa’id discuss how government institutions can address social inequity, systemic racism, and reduce the harms for communities affected by the “War on Drugs”, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and overall criminalization of poverty.
In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to reflect on this key question: How do we create and sustain racial equity systems change work within metro areas? We use the model of a cross-sector political coalition as one strategy to advance racial equity within institutions. First, we explore how to build a case about how structural racism negatively impacts entire metro areas, including populations and spaces that are predominantly white and/or affluent. We share research from Chicago’s Cost of Segregation project that demonstrates the negative impact to all. Participants complete a short exercise about the Cost of Inequity for all. Next, we brainstorm together why metro-area context –such as political history and fiscal realities—matters for how to organize cross-sector political coalitions. Participants engage in a reflective exercise to sketch their metro context, identify institutional leaders, and make connections across sectors. Next, we explore the construct of targeted universalism, watch a three-minute film from the Haas Institute, and explain its value in messaging. Next, participants identify policy areas and related recommendations in order to spell out what an agenda of racial equity could look like in their metro area. Here, we share examples from our work in Chicago. Finally, we conclude with a planning exercise that encourages participants to spell out for themselves future learning and action. In our conclusion, we invite participants to make connections within their local work to a broader global movement to advance racial equity through cross-sector political coalition building within metro areas.
The 21st Century Racial Equity and Leadership Strategy for the Nation’s South brings Race Forward and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, One Voice Mississippi and One Voice Louisiana together to advance racial equity. The partners are engaging communities of color to expose and dismantle systems of exclusion, especially around mass incarceration, access to high quality public education, economic opportunity and voting rights / civic participation. They are supporting broad cross sections of leaders on a collective racial equity analysis and strategies while building relationships and trust between communities. This workshop will highlight the experiences of local organizers in the South.
In 2016, the Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD) at the NYC Health Department prioritized an initiative to provide opportunities for staff to address different levels of racism at work. This project was part of a larger Race to Justice Initiative-an agency-wide effort developed with the support of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Interaction Institute for Social Change.
The breakout session will describe each BCD committee with four participant activities (below) highlighting our experiences in promoting learning, engagement and action to promote antiracism systems and institutional change at our agency.
*Tea will served at the start of the session. Each tea bag will include a small picture and bio of BCD staff.
Equity in presenting epidemiological data
Activity: The dark spots on the map
Takeaway: Collect better demographic data and elevate structural causes in epidemiological presentations
Activity: What do we do with these racist monuments?
Takeaway: Internal review of all conference room names of notable public health figures to see if they are aligned with racial equity and social justice values
Activity: Stories from the BCD Microaggressions Report
Takeaway: Identify strategies to address microaggressions through policy change
Safer Space – Race Identity Caucuses/Fishbowl
Activity: White/Persons of Color caucus on the values and culture of public health science and government
Takeaway: Intentional discourse of white supremacy and the oppression of People of Color as fundamental constructs of racial identity development and racialized life outcomes
Too often, institutional policies and programs ¬— no matter private, public, or nonprofit institutions — are developed and implemented without thoughtful consideration of how they could create or perpetuate disparities in health, education, economic, and other outcomes for communities of color. When racial equity is not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, racial disparities are likely to be perpetuated and different groups of people will continue to have unequal access to resources and opportunities. Racial equity analysis must be explicitly conducted and integrated in decisions by nonprofits, foundations, and local governments, including in their policies, practices, programs, and budgets. It is both a product and a process. During this session, presenters from the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and Community Science will give an overview about a racial equity tool designed to help people interested in dismantling the structures, policies, and practices that create or perpetuate disparities, go through a systematic process of determining how to assess and identify the institutional changes required for the desired community outcomes. Participants will also learn how to distinguish and develop performance and outcome measures that will help them track and evaluate their progress and stay on course. This session will combine mini-lecture with experiential, small-group exercise using common scenarios of situations in different institutional settings. Following the exercise, presenters and participants will engage in a discussion about the usefulness of the tool and how it can be improved for use by decision-makers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
Boards and commissions are a great exercise in democracy. However, oftentimes commissioners lack a racial equity lens to make the decisions that will benefit vulnerable communities. The lived experiences of people of color and low-income people are not reflected on these decision-making bodies, leaving out large swaths of our communities. In this session, participants will learn about the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI), a strategy started by Urban Habitat to advance an equity agenda in the Bay Area (California). The BCLI recruits, trains, and supports people of color and low-income people to serve on boards and commissions. BCLI alumni gain a deeper understanding of racial systemic inequities, and have access to a toolkit of equitable policies, as well as resource experts to turn to, and a tight network of other advocate commissioners. The strategy has been replicated in nine other cities across the country. Participants will hear from replication partners on how they have utilized the BCLI to advance their campaign goals, address racial inequity, and how they have applied the BCLI to build out their leadership pipeline. Participants will hear case studies of successful campaigns or of regions that are beginning to integrate racially equitable policies where the BCLI was instrumental in advancing an issue, and they will walk away with tools to help them assess if the BCLI is the right strategy for their organization.
We would like to conduct TWO workshops, back-to-back, at the Facing Race 2018 conference at Cobo Hall November 9th with a goal to make the civil rights complaint process easier for victims of sexual harassment, age, religious and other forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, civil rights violations occur all the time, yet few recognize them. Many who do recognize harassment don't know what to do.
The first would address the Civil Rights elephant in the room: Many civil rights violations, (from sexual harassment to age discrimination) fall through administrative and legal cracks. We will provide an interactive and dynamic understanding of:
1. What is a Civil Rights Violation - It's A Lot More Than You Think
2. The Obstacles Which Make Preventing Violations More Difficult
3. What Every Victim Needs to Know to Make a Difference
The workshop will include a panel which includes Knowledge Experts, and an opportunity for question & answer period at the end. Civil Rights activists will join in Part II where we will make Filing a Civil Rights complaint PLAIN for all work shop attendees.
WHAT EVERY VICTIM NEEDS TO KNOW
1. Three Types of Civil Rights Complaints: Disparate Treatment, Disparate Impact, and Retaliation
2. Proving Discrimination: Two Sides to Every Story
3. Using Technology to Make the Process Easier
At the end of our workshop, attendees will be able to file a complaint, and help others to file when the need arises.
It is our uncomfortable truth that racial identity impacts the experiences and can impact the retention of employees. Workforce equity demands that we identify and address any barriers to equal employment opportunity faced by our employees and communities because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation and other protected classes.
The process of developing a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan, was initiated by Employees of Color (EOC)—an Employee Resource Group, in a partnership with labor and community based organizations organizing to bring attention to institutional racism, and inequities within the organization. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), working with these groups, then developed a process that focused on lifting up and centering the voices and experiences of those most impacted by unequal employment opportunity. Utilizing this existing structure, ERGs hosted a series of facilitated discussions to uncover common themes and ideas for action around retention and support, professional development and promotion, and organizational culture. These same groups then coded and analyzed data, and drove a process of strategy development that reflected the needs and experiences of employees.
Reflecting a guiding framework of safety, trust and belonging, and designing strategies that reflected principles of equity and tactics of community organizing, Multnomah County, impacted and influenced by the organizing and power of front line staff, developed a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan that will guide the organization in addressing institutional inequities.
Toni Anderson and Olatunji Oboi Reed will present an interactive workshop entitled "The Community Power Matrix: Harnessing Power to Achieve Racial Equity". The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to facilitate a full suite of burn/build and inside/outside strategies, designed to disrupt patriarchal leadership by shifting to collaborative, decentralized power sharing. The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to achieve freedom for people of color, moving from top down policymaking, to bottom up policymaking, to full collaboration. The workshop will also explore the intersection of urban renewal/gentrification and the serial displacement/redlining of low- to moderate-income, communities of color.
Participants will explore necessary strategies to enforce a shift from intrusive, paternalistic governance of community place to a collective, equitable eco-social system where the most vulnerable benefit the most from urban development.
The ‘CPM’ workshop will posit the triad of necessity stemming from community divestment and inequitable development are:
• The proper defining of equitable planning.
• The role of culture, history and expression in facilitating a community engagement process which is centered at the neighborhood level, meets the specific needs of neighborhood residents and reflects an approach, rooted in culturally relevant axiology.
• The role of public health as a rubric for the prioritization of placemaking and economic development in marginalized communities.
Participants will be given the tools to implement strategies that identify and harness power from grassroots, bottom-up movements and top-down initiatives that require either collective benefits agreements or total disruptions that drain and redistribute resources.
Many in the social justice sector are concerned about the use of the state surveillance and policing apparatus to target and undermine the civil liberties of marginalized populations, including immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. Somewhat less attention has been given to the issue of far right organizing within local law enforcement and the resultant misadministration of justice at a local level, as carried out by elected sheriffs. Right wing sheriffs are playing a crucial role in enabling ICE agents even in places where cities may have passed sanctuary city ordinances.
They also play a role in unspoken police department policies that further racial profiling and surveillance in our communities. This session will explore the historical roots of right wing Sheriffs and identify current trends within the context of creeping authoritarianism. It will highlight community organizing resisting and exposing the role of right wing Sheriffs. Activists will share tools used to expose right wing Sheriffs and explore the challenges of protecting communities, individuals, and institutions when law enforcement and other public institutions that have become increasingly less accessible due to racism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim bias among others.
Since 2013 the Creative CityMaking (CCM) program has partnered staff in city of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the city’s goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. The ‘One Minneapolis’ goal focuses on ensuring that all residents can participate and prosper. These collaborations between city staff and artists support strategies that use arts resources and practices to design and test new interfaces between city systems and the community and new approaches for community engaged policy making, planning and practices. The program intentionally cultivates intersections where city staff and artists can address issues of disparity. Hearing Tenant Voices is a CCM project developed collaboratively with the city’s Regulatory Services division, artists Mankwe Nsdosi, Reggie Prim and Fen Jefferies. They worked collaboratively with housing inspections staff and community members to listen better to renters vulnerable to exploitation and engaged inspectors to develop a method for collaborative and creative code enforcement. This innovative, systems change program and project model will be explored through an interactive workshop where participants will get the opportunity to hear from project participants, move around, model and play with artists to learn more about how creative practices and tools can help us better understand systemic problems and co-create equitable solutions.
GARE's focus is on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new behaviors and policies, and organizing to achieve racial equity. GARE is seeing more and more jurisdictions that are making a commitment to achieving racial equity, focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and working in partnership across sectors and with the community to maximize impact.
When government prioritizes racial equity, relationships with community shift to authentic engagement and the sharing of power. This workshop will highlight the experiences of jurisdictions that have been recipients of the Innovation and Implementation fund, working with community to eliminate structural racism.
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.