Race Forward Beginning 2021
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Race Forward Hails "New Era" in Addressing Racial Inequity

Renews call for Biden Administration to Establish Office on Racial Equity & Inclusion and Commends Revocation of Executive Order 13950

January 21, 2021 (New York, New York)... Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated yesterday as the 46th President of the United States, and took immediate actions to further racial equity in 17 executive actions and proposed legislation which will reverse policies of the outgoing President.

Race Forward Chief of Staff Rachael DeCruz commended the actions. “We welcome President Biden’s actions on the coronavirus pandemic, immigration reform, housing justice, environmental justice, and racial justice,” DeCruz said. “They are a step in the right direction, marking a new era in this country.”

Race Forward also reiterated its call for the Biden administration to commit to creating a White House Office on Racial Equity & Inclusion.

Julie Nelson, Race Forward Senior Vice President of Programs said, “A White House Racial Equity & Inclusion Office will elevate the vital work of racial justice so desperately needed at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. It will also signal how the Administration will center racial justice in all of its policies, programs and decisions on racial justice issues important to not just African Americans and other communities of color who turned out in record numbers to elect Biden and Harris, but to white people as well.”

Full release here

Implementing Targeted Universalism: A case study

At the end of the year, our joint project partner, the Othering & Belonging Institute published the latest piece in a large body of research on the Institute's Targeted Universalism policy approach. Targeted universalism means setting universal goals pursued by targeted processes to achieve those goals. This new paper profiles efforts by the government of King County, Washington, to put this approach into practice in its ongoing equity and social justice initiative. It is one of several upcoming case studies profiling local efforts to implement targeted universalism to achieve equity in their communities. Check out the King County case study here

Member Spotlight

District of Columbia and the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE)

The Council Office of Racial Equity’s mission is to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity within the District of Columbia.

The Council of the District of Columbia is excited to unveil the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE). The Office builds on the vision set out in the “Racial Equity Achieves Results (REACH) Amendment Act of 2020,” which was unanimously approved by the Council earlier this fall. CORE’s mission is to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity within the District of Columbia.

Led by Dr. Brian McClure, CORE’s purpose is to intentionally design and create tools for local officials, staff, and the local community to dismantle institutional and structural racism.

Those tools and resources are now available on the CORE website. Visit the site to learn more about why the District has chosen to lead with race, meet the CORE staff, and browse the racial equity resources available for use.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Jeff Chang sees a path to a truer America

As we enter 2021, we ride a teeter totter of choice. Will we, in the new year, support and pursue whiteness as America's dominant narrative and cultural base, or will we be leaders and participants with millions of people marching in streets worldwide to protest social inequities and strive for greater racial justice?

 ‘We have to show people they aren’t going to lose,’ Chang says, in response to the white supremacist ‘replacement theory.’

Read the interview here

Request for Proposal - 2021 All-America City Award Application

Spotlight: Building Equitable and Resilient Communities

The National Civic League invites you to apply for the All-America City Award, the nation’s most prestigious community award, now in its 72nd year. This award offers the opportunity for both recognition and reflection. Applications require communities to come together to assess their strengths and challenges. The process of applying for the award provides an opportunity to mobilize local groups to work together and display on a national stage the people and projects that make your community a great place to live, work and play.

Application Submission Deadline February 10, 2021

Learn more about the All-America City Award and Access the Application Here

In the News

Senators challenge Trump order banning some diversity training concepts     

Minnesota's two U.S. senators are calling for the federal government to stop enforcing a Trump administration executive order banning certain words and concepts from diversity training for federal workers and contractors. 

Gordon Goodwin, St. Paul-based director of the national Government Alliance on Race and Equity, an organization that works with mostly local governments such as cities and counties and court systems, said the order was designed to have a chilling effect — and it's working among many entities receiving federal money.

But trainers are still very busy in other workplaces, including local governments, Gordon said. And the alliance is continuing to use some of the words called out in the order, with appropriate context, as they always have, he said.

"We feel it's important to use those words so that we can have the conversation," Goodwin said. "Those are terms that we use with explanations so that we're on the same page about what they mean and why we are using them. ... They are not indictments. They are terms we use to help people understand the different dynamics of racism."

Read the full piece here

Seattle's New Arts and Culture Development Entity Is About Power, Not Just Money
In Seattle, last month, communities that have been stripped of that power wrested some of it back, in the chartering of the new Cultural Space Agency, a city-sponsored public development authority created to develop and steward permanently affordable space for arts and culture in and around Seattle. It’s the Seattle arts and culture community’s own real estate development firm, set up intentionally to put the power of real estate development and ownership into the hands of Black communities, indigenous communities and other communities of color. Its job will be to acquire city-owned and other properties, redevelop them, and gift or sell them at below-market prices to community arts organizations.

The Office of Arts and Culture in 2018 created the Build Arts Space Equitably Certification program, bringing together participants — exclusively people of color — from both the arts and culture world and the real estate world into yearlong cohorts, to learn about cultural community organizing and commercial property development. Known as the BASE program for short, there’s been two cohorts so far, and the third was just named.
National Day of Racial Healing in the Context of Now
Launched in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with hundreds of racial justice activists across the United States, today’s observance comes at a time when our hearts are yearning for it most. With violent surges of white nationalism, the continued devastating rampage of COVID-19 disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), the sanctioned murder of Black people, many of us are feeling unfathomable grief, righteous rage, and utter depletion. The need for racial healing is urgent. 

So, what does racial healing mean in the context of now?  And why is racial healing important to our movements for justice? Our own Glenn Harris was featured among the racial justice leaders Melia spoke with to explore these critical questions.

GARE Informational Sessions

These Sessions are open to:
  • Anyone interested in learning more about GARE
  • Employees from a new GARE member jurisdiction
  • Employees from an existing GARE member jurisdiction

Every 1st THURSDAY of the Month
To register for an info session on the 1st Thursday of every month, click here

Every 3rd TUESDAY of the month
To register for an info session on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, click here

Are you committed to Racial Equity?

Join Racial Equity Here, GARE's new, cross-sector platform to align efforts across the country! Racial Equity Here is a movement of jurisdictions, community groups, foundations, businesses and schools committed to three steps forward on racial equity: to LEARN, ACT, and PARTNER, with tools provided. 

For more information about our Racial Equity Here, Commit to Action site, or to join the more than 500 organizations that have committed to advancing racial equity, click here. 

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