LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 25, 2016) — Louisville has been selected by Living Cities and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity as one of five cities to join an effort, Racial Equity Here, to improve racial equity in America’s cities.
Government leaders in each city will complete a racial equity assessment of their core government operations. The assessment will include an intentional focus on operations as they relate to adults and youth of color ages 16 to 24, who are disproportionally out of school or work.
Each city will receive an initial stipend of $25,000 to support the work, and an additional $50,000 to implement the Racial Equity Action Plan developed by that city. Over a two-year period, cities will develop a blueprint of government-wide strategies and begin executing the skills, tools and processes they develop through this work. Other cities are Albuquerque, Austin, Grand Rapids and Philadelphia.
“Racial Equity Here will help us develop even more tools to address disparities that seriously affect individuals across our community.,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “We look forward to further advancing racial equity here in Louisville and taking a lead in closing the opportunity gap.
Cities were selected based in part on a demonstrated commitment to improving racial equity and improving outcomes for young people of color, and to expanding efforts across the breadth of outcomes that government influences.
A cross-functional team of Louisville government leaders, led by the Office of Performance Improvement & Innovation (OPI2), submitted the application to participate in the initiative. The Center for Health Equity, Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Office for Globalization, Departments of Community Services and Human Resources and the Human Relations Commission will all participate in the 24-month cohort, alongside OPI2.
Racial Equity Here builds on the work of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance successful outcomes for all. GARE’s approach is based on the experience of early adopters of racial equity within government. The cities participating in Racial Equity Here will strengthen the evidence base around this work and blaze a trail for even more cities to follow suit.
“Cities participating in Racial Equity Here will be part of a leading national network of jurisdictions embracing racial equity in a systemic and structural way,” said Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht said. “This is one of the most important issues of our time, and these five cities have made an important commitment not only to their residents, but also to advancing racial equity across the country.”