The focus of our Closing the Gaps Network is to convene a community of changemakers and racial equity sparkplugs who are ready and willing to use their power to shift policy and practices in local government to close the racial wealth and income gaps, among other goals.
Lucky for us, we are not starting from scratch. There are people and places across the country changing policies and practices to intentionally center and achieve better outcomes from Black and brown people. In this resource we will highlight some of our favorite stories of policy and practice change within local governments and communities. These stories all illustrate tangible changes to our local policies and practice that have actually resulted in better outcomes from people of color.
One of the biggest takeaways we’ve had in compiling this group of stories is that racial equity is truly a process and not an outcome. It’s a daily practice that takes intentionality and purpose to truly integrate across systems and practices. We cannot assume that a single policy or practice change is enough to say we have done all there is to do to achieve equity. It is a process and can only happen over time.
We additionally identified multiple themes weaved throughout these stories including:
-Changing Decisionmakers & the Decision-making process for Racial Equity
-Changing Policy and Practice to Advance Racial Equity
Please see the index in the pdf for a key that will help identify these themes throughout the resource.
Some of these stories are from our work and experience with the changemakers and cities highlighted and others are stories of victory from across the country. These stories but are specific to how decision making processes are being challenged and changed to create more accountability to the community, normalizing conversation about race and its critical role in our systems and the prioritization of racial equity within leadership. These are stories exemplary of how behavior change can lead to policy change and how both must go hand in hand.
Photo Credit: Nina Montenegro / justseeds.org