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2021 Annual Membership Meeting 

Dear GARE Membership Network,  

I am so excited to announce that registration is live for the 2021 Annual Membership Meeting! In order to prioritize our members' and staff's health, while also recognizing the need for our network to come together, we have chosen to make our 2021 annual conference a virtual event. In light of the myriad challenges you and your government colleagues have been forced to grapple with over the past year, as well as the many affronts to our democracy that have occurred in our latest round of elections, GARE's Annual Membership Meeting theme this year is: Democracy for All - Governing for Racial Justice. 

We will be using Hopin, a dynamic digital platform that provides a contained conference experiences for attendees. You'll have the opportunity to meet new people and share ideas using the platform's "Networking" segment; get a chance to learn about promising practices in the field by attending live Breakout Sessions; and hear from visionary racial justice leaders in our Plenary Sessions.  

We know many of your jurisdictions are facing budget shortfalls and are being forced to do more with less, in a particularly trying environment. We also recognize how vital coming together is to our movement, both to share racially equitable practices that can be replicated elsewhere, and to re-energize each of you to continue your valiant efforts to bring racial equity to governments across the country. In an effort to make our Annual Membership Meeting accessible to as many members as possible, we have drastically reduced the price of attendance to this year's event. 

As always, you and your colleagues will have the opportunity to share your exciting work with the network by proposing your own Breakout Sessions. The deadline to submit your Breakout Proposal is March 15. Click here for more details on how to submit your proposal. 

Have questions or need additional information? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page! We will be updating this regularly, so please refer to it before reaching out to staff. 

We are so excited to get the chance to connect with you this year! 

In solidarity, 

Gordon Goodwin, GARE Director 

Read below for updates on tickets to the Annual Membership Meeting; our Keynote Speaker; how to apply to be an AMM Vendor & Volunteer; and join us for our next Annual Membership Meeting Open Forum


Get Your Tickets Soon!

We are so excited about GARE’s Annual Membership Meeting taking place May 19-21 – which is only 9 weeks away! We begin reviewing content submissions this week to bring our theme, Democracy for All: Governing for Racial Justice to life. We will be highlighting the ways that members are operationalizing racial equity at the local, regional, and state government levels and lift up strategies that center the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color to improve outcomes for everyone. 


Ticket prices were reduced significantly this year to account for the budget shortfalls that so many of your jurisdictions have dealt with in the past year. A ticket for all three days at the AMM costs $175, until April 15, when tickets will increase to $225. Get your tickets today!


AMM Keynote Speaker: Nikole Hannah-Jones!

We are so pleased to announce this year’s Annual Membership Meeting Keynote Speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones! Ms. Hannah-Jones is the visionary behind the NYTimes’ 1619 Project, which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contribution of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” Ms. Hannah-Jones has written extensively about school re-segregation and the failings of the federal government’s enforcement of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. We are thrilled that she will be joining the main stage at this year’s AMM to offer insights into what our members can do to lead for racial equity in government.


Apply to be an AMM Vendor or Volunteer!

Do you know of a small business owned by a person of color?  If they are able to ship their goods across the country, consider asking them to apply to be a vendor at our Annual Membership Meeting! We want to feature small, BIPOC-owned businesses in our virtual vendor exhibition to cater to our AMM attendees. Selected businesses will have the opportunity to sell their wares to our GARE colleagues. They have the option of linking to their website and/or providing a slide deck to serve as their virtual exhibition booth at the AMM. There is a $35 fee for selected businesses. Apply today! The deadline to apply is March 30. 


Are you interested in volunteering at the AMM? Or perhaps you have a colleague who cannot purchase a ticket but would still like to attend?  If so, please consider applying to be an AMM Volunteer! The deadline to apply is March 30.


Join us for the next Annual Membership Meeting Open Forum on 3/23!

Want to know what you can expect from GARE’s Annual Membership Meeting? Are you interested in submitting a proposal for content, but need more information? Do you work for a jurisdiction that’s new to the network and don’t know what to expect from the Meeting? Have you been to a previous Annual Membership Meeting but are wondering how a virtual conference can compare? Get the answers to these and more questions by joining us for our next GARE Annual Membership Meeting Open Forum! We will have more content information to share with you so I hope you’ll join us!


Additional Information 

For additional information about the Annual Membership Meeting, including: registration, ticket codes, FAQs, and more, check out our page.
In solidarity, 
The GARE Team




New Member Spotlight
Ferndale, Ohio

The City of Ferndale is actively in the process of embedding a culture of anti-racism into their employment practices, and then more expanding that, into their community. They have employed some of the principles they have gotten from the Michigan Dept. of City Rights MDCR Anti-racism Toolkit and are planning on using them to help with and facilitate the program. That was when they reached a dead end, but then … magically, Dan Jacey, the Director of HR for the City of Ferndale, listened to a ICMA presentation. Timing is EVERYTHING!

Ferndale is home to the largest LGBTQ population in metro Detroit. The LGBTQ community is embraced and that inclusion sets them up well to expand it even further to the tenants of anti-racism. They do not have a large African American resident population, but we are seen as a welcoming community and many African Americans frequent our City to shop, learn, and have fun. 

Dan would LOVE to speak to members of either GARE to get moving forward in this process. The City Council passed an Anti-Racism Doctrine on June 8, 2020 and they want to continue the momentum from that action.

In The News: Historic Cabinet Confirmations

Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration's ambitious efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

Her confirmation is as symbolic as it is historic. For much of its history, the Interior Department was used as a tool of oppression against America's Indigenous peoples. In addition to managing the country's public lands, endangered species and natural resources, the department is also responsible for the government-to-government relations between the U.S. and Native American tribes.

"Indian country has shouted from the valleys, from the mountaintops, that it's time. It's overdue," Sandia Pueblo tribal member Stephine Poston told NPR after Haaland was nominated.

Read more here

In The News: Hiring a Chief Equity Officer? Here's What you Need to Know

Equity has become an increasingly pressing issue for local governments following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last year and the racial disparities in Covid-19 infections and deaths. As local officials seek to address the disadvantages felt by communities of color, one action some are taking is to hire equity officers.

A relatively new position, cities like Los AngelesChicago and Pittsburgh have brought on equity officers to address systemic racism and structural inequities. And this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Speaking this week at Govapalooza, a virtual festival for local officials, Siri Russell, the director of equity and inclusion in Albemarle County, Virginia, and Ray Baray, chief of staff at the International City/County Management Association and a former assistant city manager and chief of staff in Austin, Texas, offered guidance on how local governments can successfully add an equity officer to their ranks.

Read more here


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