The Closing the Gaps (CTG) Network is a ten-year initiative that brings together leaders from cities across the country who are committed to imagining what an anti-racist society might look like, and to playing an important role in building it through the transformation of government policies, practices and operations.
The CTG Network is a year-round community that leverages proven practices from our decades of public sector work. Participants have access to cross-city learning opportunities as well as technical assistance providers, facilitators, resources and other networks. All share a vision and measures to track progress, have accountability partnerships, and more.
Meet the Year of Reckoning cities
Within the network, six cities–Albuquerque, NM; Austin, TX; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Rochester, NY; and St. Paul, MN–have been selected for deeper engagement through a Year of Reckoning cohort. The Year of Reckoning is about local government leaders coming together with other leaders in their cities, acknowledging that—when it comes to racism and inequity—the past is present. We view the Year of Reckoning as the foundational racial equity training and competency-building component of a multi-faceted approach to our work with cities.
Through the Year of Reckoning, our team and our partners, including the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Government Alliance on Race and Equity, and Third Space Action Lab, will support and learn from the six cities that are ready and willing to work to understand their history related to structural racism and the income and wealth gaps, with particular attention paid to how that history relates to the current crisis. They will develop analysis and vision for racially just decisions and policy-making. They will reflect on power and accountability and deepen their relationships with the communities they serve. And, they will practice racial equity skills, competencies, and tools together.
The City of Albuquerque team is working to increase access to affordable housing for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color in their city. They are also working to shift from historically race-neutral approaches to this work and instead apply a specific focus on increasing access for Black and Indigenous families and members of the community who speak languages other …
The City of Austin team is working to normalize and organize departments across the city to center racial equity in all of their work. They hope to strengthen city staff’s intersectional analysis around how race, class, and other systems are interconnected to address and prevent the harmful implications of gentrification.
The City of Memphis team is working to create or preserve affordable housing units. They hope to take an in-depth look at the existing and historical policies that have led to the rates of housing insecurity faced today in order to inform future strategies.
The City of Minneapolis is partnering with Youthprise, a local organization that seeks to increase equity with and for Minnesota’s indigenous, low-income, and racially diverse youth.
The City of Rochester is working to confirm the feasibility of a series of initiatives to address food insecurity and extreme poverty by advancing urban farming within the City of Rochester. They hope to shift power in ways that center community wealth building.
St. Paul, MN
The City of Saint Paul is working to further their equity workplan, which supports all city employees to embed racial equity into their work. They hope to build staff competencies and center community stories and voice throughout this work.
Meet the Closing the Gaps Network Cities
The Closing the Gaps Network brings together leaders from cities across the country that are committed to closing racial income and wealth gaps in their communities. The Network is a year-round community that leverages proven practices from our decades of public sector work. Participants have access to cross-city learning opportunities as well as technical assistance providers, facilitators, resources, and other networks. Together they share a vision for what a racially equitable, just, and prosperous society can look like, and play an important role in building it through transforming government policies, practices, and operations.
- Charleston, S.C.
- El Paso, Tex.
- Kansas City
- Long Beach, Calif.
- Louisville, Ky.
- New Haven, Conn.
- Providence, R.I.
- Washington, D.C.
Reckoning With Race
An important step in Year of Reckoning cities’ journey is taking the time to learn about their histories, how their cities were designed to create inequitable outcomes, and who has been organizing for racial justice throughout. This process of reckoning with the history of race–in part by engaging with the Reckoning With Race stories and storytellers–is directly informing the way that cities are being assisted to transform government policies and practices.
Reckoning with Race Curriculum
Another important step in Year of Reckoning cities’ journey is taking the time to build racial equity competencies through deep learning, discussion, and practice. Explore our Reckoning with Race curriculum, which includes seven modules with resources, discussion questions, and sample workshop agendas that you can adapt for your own learning environments.
Our Anti-Racist Values
We honor the labor that got us here.
When talking about institutional capacity, we interrogate what REI work really takes and the fact that Black women in particular often face an undue burden in holding the work.
We value working with an abundance mindset and an openness to possibilities.
We recognize that communities at the margins have always had to discover resources where “there aren’t any” and craft possibilities for thriving without institutional support. We strive for accountability to these communities in the cities where we work and commit to fostering creative, visionary spaces rooted in a pro-Black vision for the future.
Racial equity is a process and an outcome.
We seek to move beyond the binary thinking that suggests there is an “end” or that some cities are “on top” or “more successful” when it comes to racial equity.
When we say community, we name what we mean.
We understand the different relationships communities may have with the city governments we work with. We acknowledge that many people working in city government are part of the community.
We know that racial equity work is a day-today practice of shifting our behaviors and power.
We are committed to:
- Anti-racist principles as outlined by the People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond
- Antidotes to white supremacy culture as outlined by Tema Okun
- Accountability at all levels
- Working together in new, transformational ways
- Continuous learning and improvement
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