On March 26, 2014, the Committee of the Whole directed the City Coordinator, as part of the adoption of the goals, values and strategic directions, to provide support to the City Council, Mayor, and Department Heads in developing a definition for the value “equity”, and other key terms as necessary. On July 30, 2014 the Committee of the whole approved the definitions of Equity and Racial Equity.
In the fall of 2015, the Coordinator’s Office provided a brief update on the City’s enterprise racial equity efforts as the City’s new Equity and Inclusion manager joined the City’s workforce. Since then, updates on several initiatives have come before City Council demonstrating department-level intent to apply a racial equity analysis to the work. Examples include supplier and workforce diversification.
The past year has been focused on building a foundation and a common understanding around how to incorporate racial equity into the City’s work. The City Coordinator’s Office Enterprise Equity and Inclusion program developed a SharePoint site to provide resources and tools for departments ready to incorporate a racial equity lens to their daily work. Where departments have needed additional hands-on assistance, the City Coordinator’s Office has also made itself available to consult and advise with the goal of ensuring racial equity considerations are an intentional component of departmental decision-making.
Continuing a partnership with GARE (Government Alliance on Race and Equity), the City developed a cohort of city staff who actively participated in crafting a draft racial equity work plan. The City’s Foundations in Equity series, a training which provides employees with tools and strategies to help City workplaces value, respect and leverage diversity, has been extremely successful. The series has 100% participation across the City’s departments and an over 95% completion rate in a series of 5 complimentary training sessions.
Additional resources have been garnered to foster a culture of inclusivity around the enterprise, including:
- Neighborhood and Community Relations’ (NCR) Blueprint for Equitable Engagement.
- Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) Department of Justice initiative.
- The successful integration of equity data into our Green Zones initiative.
- The work of the Innovation Team focused on immigrant and minority owned businesses.
- The creation of an enterprise Engagement Design Team (EDT) that focuses on engagement from traditionally underrepresented communities.
- The addition of cultural agility and unconscious bias training within Human Resource offerings.
- The receipt of the ReCAST grant focused on communities experiencing stress and trauma.
- The addition of a racial equity lens in Public Works’ streets funding plan.
- The integration of diverse artists to bridge the gaps in between tenants and our inspections staff within Regulatory Services.
This year, the focus has shifted to operationalizing the work, and an integral component of that is the creation of a Racial Equity Steering Committee that will provide a unified vision for the City’s collective efforts. Working with GARE, the Steering Committee will also review and approve the City’s Racial Equity work plan to ensure efforts are aligned, coordinated and accelerated throughout our departments. This year will also see the creation of Equity Coordinators – a cohort of individuals selected throughout the enterprise with the skills and competencies needed to serve as liaisons, facilitators and consultants to departments as they work to embed a racial equity lens as part of their core work. Staff will also be working to better embed racial equity plans into departmental businesses plans and expand training opportunities as departments need and solicit them.