Racial Equity Here

In May 2016, Louisville Metro Government was selected as one of five cities across the country to participate in a two year initiative called Racial Equity Here.

What is Racial Equity Here?

Racial Equity Here is an initiative of Living Cities and the Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. The initiative will support five cities (Albuquerque, Austin, Grand Rapids, Louisville, and Philadelphia) who are committed to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Living Cities will work with GARE to provide tools, resources, and training to help participating cities analyze how their operations impact people of color and develop an action plan to implement solutions. Each city will receive a stipend of $75,000 to support the planning and implementation of a Racial Equity Action Plan, as well as training and technical assistance. The Racial Equity Action Plan will incorporate both strategies for advancing equity internally in government operations and its workforce and an intentional focus on outcomes for youth of color ages 16-24.

What is the purpose?

Through participation with Racial Equity Here, cities will begin to understand how and where municipal operations affect people of color, not only understanding their role in perpetuating these disparities, but will also begin addressing them in transformative ways. Over a two-year period, the cities will develop a blueprint of government-wide strategies and develop the necessary skills, tools, and processes to implement this work.

Who is participating?

The Center for Health Equity currently coordinates a city-wide cross functional team, comprised of leaders from 12 different city departments. In 2017, the initiative will develop a community advisory board. If you are interested in participating as a community member or organization, please email Aja Barber.

As a part of this initiative, the Center for Health Equity is partnering with Louisville Metro Human Resources to train every Louisville Metro Government employee in Implicit Bias and Racial Equity, beginning in 2017.

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Louisville Metro Government's participation in Racial Equity Here is an opportunity to continue with and build up the racial equity work initiated through the Racial Healing Initiative and Healing Possible Quorum. In 2010, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, Center for Health Equity (CHE) was awarded a Racial Healing grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as part of its national America Healing initiative. From September 2010 through September 2012, CHE worked in collaboration with several community partners who implemented a multi-faceted program of activities toward the Louisville's Racial Healing Initiative: Reclaiming Our Dreams grant.

That work laid the foundation for the planning and development of a more ambitious follow-up initiative to promote health equity by addressing racial inequity and decreasing structural and institutional racism from a much broader, more strategic policy, systems and environmental change perspective. The resulting project was the Healing Possible Quorum--100 Louisville residents who met monthly beginning in January 2014 to develop sustainable, actionable policies to reduce structural and institutional racism and to help create a city where all of us have the chance to live a long, healthy life regardless of income, education, or racial/ethnic background. 

The Healing Possible Quorum completed and celebrated their work in a gathering held in January 2015. You can read the recommendations which emerged from their year-long process, including the Executive Summary and their proposal for a Racial Equity Through Policy & Assessment Initiative

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