City of Madison: New Member Dedicated to Racial Equity and Social Justice

National Civic League would like to welcome our newest member, Madison, WI! Madison is the newest city to join the League’s network of cities, nonprofits and individuals who are utilizing civic engagement to tackle the nation's most pressing issues.

Toriana Pettaway, City of Madison's Equity Coordinator for the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, is "looking forward to being more involved in the League and utilizing all of the services offered."

The City of Madison is prioritizing racial equity in the City’s employment practices and policy initiatives through Mayor Soglin’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative. The initiative takes a three-pronged approach, eliminating inequities in City policies and budgets, City operations and in the community at large.

The initiative was launched after local data showed racial and social disparities in quality of life. Specifically, the data showed that

People of color, people with disabilities and people from low-income backgrounds fare far worse than many other city residents in areas like educational attainment, income, health outcomes and housing affordability and quality.

Asked what their biggest accomplishment to date was, Toriana was most proud of resolution ERS-17-00721 which was passed in January of 2017. “The City of Madison Common Council passed a resolution stating that all department heads elected officials, agency budget contacts, and mayoral staff must attend Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJI) training.” By July 31st, 174 City employees will have been trained on racial equity and institutional bias. Toriana expressed both a sense of accomplishment as well as a need to do more, “We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet and still have a ways to go.”

A few other planned activities and accomplishments so far include:

  • Offering mandatory implicit bias training for all city employees;
  • Making Racial Equity and Social Justice training programs available to all City employees;
  • Increasing the community’s voice in the budget process;
  • Building relationships with community stakeholders and racial equity education organizations;
  • Supporting community engagement initiatives such as My Brother’s Keeper, Madison Out of School Time, and Madison Public Library’s Tell Us program.

Visit the City of Madison website to learn more about the initiative and to access their Comprehensive Equity Tool, Equitable Workforce Plan and many other resources.

Interested in joining City of Madison as a Member of the National Civic League? Join the League today!

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