Dear GARE Members, Partners, and Allies,
A year ago, the Biden administration officially recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Freedom is on our minds here at GARE --- the celebration and joy of it, the resurgent threats to it, all the progress we have made toward it, and have yet to make. In the words of Samia Byrd, Deputy County Manager, Chief Race & Equity Officer in Arlington County on the GARE blog Juneteenth: A First Step in the Long Work of Atonement, “Freedom is not free.” And, as practitioners working in government, we know we must change narrative and culture as well as the material conditions in Black communities. Only then, will we begin to repair our history.
To strengthen all our work towards a just, multiracial democracy, a year ago, we embarked on GARE's program redesign process to meet the growing appetite for the work to advance racial equity within government and the evolving needs of a large and varied network. Following the 2020 racial justice uprisings, the largest in our nation’s history, the GARE network grew to upwards of 430 members and became a landing place for many new jurisdictions, agencies, and practitioners taking a long and hard look at the role government policies and practices play in creating and reproducing racial injustice. Today, we are pleased to share a program redesign update that includes a brief overview of our process and new direction. This strategic direction includes new engagement offerings for our more seasoned racial equity practitioners within government, a sneak peek into new engagement opportunities for government employees who are brand-new to the work of racial equity within government, as well as crucial infrastructure and systems updates. Learn more about the GARE program redesign update here.
We look forward to our continued work together, to get ever closer to freedom and justice for all of our communities.
All our best,
Gordon and the GARE staff team