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A Year Ago We...

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 

The Town of Apex, NC

The Town of Apex's leadership initiated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in late 2019. They committed time and resources to assess their organization in order to determine their current climate and inform a multi-year DEI strategy. The Town engaged with a consultant to conduct a comprehensive organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion assessment. In 2022, the Town Manager hired a full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to assist with the efforts outlined in the action plan produced by the consultant. The Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is currently building relationships with the Council and assessing equity efforts by the Town. An affordable housing plan will integrate a racial equity lens to evaluate and make decisions about housing programs and investments.

To learn more about the Town of Apex's Affordable Housing Plan please see this link. Review the Town of Apex’s cultural assessment here.
Juneteenth: A First Step in the Long Work of Atonement
Ripple Effect: Remaking Government into a Force for Racial Justice
GARE Calls for Widespread Condemnation and Response to White Nationalist Violence of the Buffalo Massacre
Tools & Resources
Should local governments double down on their support of employee-owned worker models?

Amid ongoing uncertainty and their budget constraints, local communities and major stakeholders are asking: How can we craft effective and equitable small business recovery plans? 

2022 GARE Annual Membership Meeting - Shared Resources Library
Confronting White Nationalism in Schools Toolkit (Western States Center)

This report describes the work that commenced in partnership with agency offices, considers observations and lessons learned along the way, and discusses efforts that must continue at the federal level to fully realize the intentions of the executive order and move this country toward a more racially just future.

Network Portal

Stay connected. The GARE Network Portal is an online community for employees of GARE member agencies to participate in discussions, learn about GARE member events, connect with other racial equity practitioners working in government, and share resources. If you are an employee of a GARE member jurisdiction and not yet registered for the Portal, please sign up here using your government-issued email address. Requests for an account are generally approved within 1-2 business days.
Events in the Field: 

Talking Data Equity
Weekly, Fridays from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Advancing Honest Education: Strong Public Schools and a Multiracial Democracy
Training Series, various Wednesdays at 7:00 PM EST through early July.

From the Ground Up: Community Centered Policies to Scale Equitable Development
July 19, 2022 7:00 PM EST

Facing Race
November 17-19, 2022 in Phoenix, AZ and online


GARE Member Events: 

GARE Chief Equity Officers Meeting
June 24, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (ET)

[GARE Membership Connection]: Staying the Course: A Strategic Response to Legislative Efforts to Ban Discussion About Race 
June 27, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 04:30 PM (ET)

Racial equity practitioners in government are facing legislative attempts to ban “critical race theory” in local and state government, including public schools. This session explores how government and community leaders have been organizing to ensure the crucial work of racial equity in government maintains its momentum in this evolving political context. Exploring both narrative and legal terrains, this interactive workshop will explore this critical challenge and include case studies, narrative tools, and legal strategies. 

GARE Informational Session
June 28, 2022 from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (ET) 

GARE Film Screening: Free to Ride
July 8, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM (ET)

GARE Steering Committee Monthly Meeting
July 12, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (ET)

GARE Monthly Membership Connection: Responding to White Nationalist Radicalization
July 18, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (ET)

GARE Informational Session
July 19, 2022 from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (ET) 

GARE Chief Equity Officers Meeting
July 22, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (ET)

RaceForward Twitter
GARE Website

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