Racial Equity at the National Civic League

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The National Civic League focuses much of its work on equity, and racial equity in particular. This work extends from our core mission:

The mission of the National Civic League is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities.

Racial Equity is embedded into League programs, including:

  • Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative
  • All-America City Award
  • Webinar Series
  • Promising Practices Database
  • National Civic Review
  • Model Executive Orders to Secure Equity
  • External Resources

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative

The National Civic League’s focus on civic engagement and racial equity led to engagement with W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative. Kellogg’s TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for, and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

All-America City Award

Our flagship program has focused on equity for the past three years. The theme of the 2018 All-America City Awards was on promoting equity through inclusive civic engagement. Applications featured projects aimed at improving racial equity and workshops and speakers were centered on this theme throughout the event.

In 2019 we focused specifically on health equity. In 2020 we are focusing on health and well-being, with one of the major criteria being equity:

One of the 6 All-America City award criteria is Inclusiveness and Equity: Intentional involvement of diverse segments and perspectives (ethnic, racial, socio-economic, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, people with disabilities, and others) in community decision-making.

Webinar Series

Many of the webinars in the League’s Promising Practices webinar series have focused on equity.

MAY 23, 2019
AAC Promising Practices Webinar: Equitable and Collaborative Economic Development
Learn about two communities that are being mindful about collaboration and equity in their economic development projects.

FEBRUARY 13, 2019
AAC Promising Practices Webinar: Leveraging Education to Achieve Equity and Improve Futures
Two All-America Cities spoke about how they are utilizing education programs to achieve equity and improve economic and community futures.

NOVEMBER 15, 2018
AAC Promising Practices Webinar: Community-Wide Visioning with an Equity Lens
Learn more about how two All-America Cities underwent a community-wide visioning process with a specific focus on engagement and equity. Decatur, GA discusses their visioning process, “Better Together.” San Antonio, TX discusses their process, SA2020.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018
AAC Promising Practices Webinar: Stable, Affordable, Equitable Housing
Learn how the Sankofa Initiative became a multi-pronged approach, responding to housing, public safety, community environment, income, quality of life and pride in their community. The presenters tackled root causes of health inequalities to achieve health equity for members of the community.

JULY 17, 2018
Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Efforts in Local Government
Presenters Nolan Atkinson, chief diversity officer in Philadelphia, and Darlene Flynn, director of Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity, discuss how they tackle diversity and inclusion and racial equity in local governments, pioneering the work in their respective cities.

MAY 24, 2018
Building Community Trust Using Police Data and Dashboards
In this webinar, attorney Bob Scales and San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia discussed the challenges of collecting use of force data and successes from sharing data with the community. Both addressed how data can be used to engage and the community as well as how city leaders have used data for risk management and budget allocations.

FEBRUARY 22, 2018
Infusing Equity in City Government – How and Where
Equity is becoming an important part in government operations and services, but how and where can a city government begin? In this webinar, National Civic League fellow Dante James will share a list of examples for how to begin to infuse equity throughout city government.

DECEMBER 12, 2017
Building Equity in Parks and Recreation
In this webinar, participants will learn how parks and recreation systems can be transformed by using an equity lens. In Minnesota, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has used equity to decide how resources and improvements are made.

OCTOBER 16, 2017
Racial Equity and Healing
The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change in our society, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

JULY 31, 2017
Educational Equity
Learn from 2017 All-America City Winners, Stockton-San Joaquin Valley, CA and Dayton, OH, about educational equity strategies for community-based work to help more children from low-income families achieve grade-level reading proficiency and early school success.

JUNE 29, 2017
Health Equity and the Role of Civic Engagement
Understanding what matters when it comes to health equity and American communities.

MAY 23, 2017
Fair and Affordable Housing Strategies
Presentations from Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and Phil Eide, Senior Vice President, Community and Economic Development at Hope Enterprise Corporation.

MARCH 14, 2017
How Cities Can Foster Positive Relationships Between Youth and Police
Building relationships between young people and police can bring positive results for your city.

APRIL 25, 2017
Community Policing
Learn from All-America City winner Columbia Heights, Minnesota and from Sean Smoot, a 21st Century Policing Consultant, on community policing strategies.

Promising Practices Database

This database includes summaries of projects that leverage civic engagement from All-America Cities and other communities. The database includes 36 stories of community work on racial healing and equity:

National Civic Review

Many of the articles featured in the League’s quarterly journal, National Civic Review, have focused on equity.

Model Executive Orders to Secure Equity

The National Civic League has researched executive orders and ordinances designed to improve equity and inclusiveness. We encourage you to use these models to develop ordinances or other public policies in your city.

External Resources

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