2020 Reflection
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Letter from the GARE Director

Dear GARE Community:
As we prepare to depart for an end of year break, our GARE Team is reflecting on the challenges local government is facing now:
The emergency actions and economic relief efforts that local government is deploying to respond to the resurgence of COVID-19 infections are deemed necessary to ensure that all of us survive this crisis. And yet, emergency orders and relief efforts are often implemented without the participation or insights of the Black, LatinX, and Indigenous community members who are dying at rates twice the level of White community members, and who experience COVID-related unemployment at twice the rate.
The local planning and messaging currently underway to ensure that vaccinations are available for everyone is an opportunity for us to review our data (disaggregated by race) so that we can determine:

  • Who is currently benefitting from a health care infrastructure that is connected to our vaccination plan?
  • Who is currently underserved / not connected to a health care infrastructure that implements our vaccination plan?  
  • What are we willing to do to ensure that communities of color who are most significantly underserved are involved in creating a vaccination delivery structure that is accountable to everyone's health?  

The deep structural and institutional gaps and barriers that contribute to reduced health and safety for Black and Brown communities is happening right now as we involve ourselves in these next steps.  Let us not let this moment pass without practicing racial equity.
Gordon Goodwin
GARE Director


As 2020 comes to a close, the GARE team is taking time away for the final two weeks of the year. This will be a much needed break to pause, reflect, and breathe. 2020 has been a very trying year in so many ways. After this break, we will come back renewed and ready to continue with our support of jurisdictions in progressing toward racial equity. We look forward to connecting with each of our members in 2021.

Please note that intakes and correspondence will wait for two weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We hope that all of you will take this opportunity to review your efforts and thoughtfully approach the new year with all of our communities in mind. 

GARE Foundations 2021

This year GARE worked to provide member jurisdictions with foundational concepts in racial equity, particularly to meet the needs of members new to this work. The twelve sessions provided in 2020 were on the topic "Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government" which provides an introduction to the role, responsibilities and opportunities for government to advance racial equity.

In 2021, starting in February, we will continue to offer sessions of this workshop to the membership. Two additional areas of focus later in the year will be "Leading for Racial Equity" and "Building Infrastructure for Change". 

Stay tuned in January for dates and more information on the 2021 GARE Foundations sessions.

In the News

Pima County, Arizona Passes Resolution Declaring Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities and Income Inequality to be a Public Health Crisis     

On December 1, 2020 Pima County, AZ joined a growing number of counties in declaring racism a public health crisis. On May 20, 2019 Milwaukee County became the first in the country to do so. Since then, at least 50 counties have passed their own resolutions of this nature. Pima and Milwaukee are both members of the National Organization of Counties (NACO). Over 2,350 counties are members of NACO, representing more than 80% of the nation's population. Here you can access additional information about NACO's county declarations on diversity, equity and inclusion.  

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. 

Copyright © *2020, Race Forward*

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