Addressing Racial Bias Within City Government
Beginning October 13, 2020, our Mayor’s Management Team (comprised of all City Department Heads as well as Mayoral staff) used three successive meetings to engage in an in-depth discussion of White Supremacy Culture and the impacts of that white supremacy on our work culture, operations, and outcomes.
Facilitated by Jacquelyn Bogges and Jordan Bingham, from nINA Collective, this challenging discussion helped us focus intentional time on the important work of uncovering the patterns of white supremacy culture in ourselves, in our leadership, and in our organization as a whole. Awareness of these patterns is only one step in really challenging how we operate at the City, and how to rethink everything we do in a way that centers the impacts on Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC).
It would be naïve to think this transformative change will not take time and consistent effort. It will. But this effort is absolutely essential to positively impacting on the outcomes we have allowed to continue for BIPOC at the City. I am eager for us to continue this work and to follow the recommendations of the nINA Collective to continue to learn and grow in ways that allows us to:
Recognize and center the impacts of racism and white supremacy culture on BIPOC at the City
Continue to support leadership development and processing opportunities around race, whiteness, and their impacts
Build racial equity strategies in all City operations, budgets, policies, and relationships in ways that allow us to work toward radical and relational inclusion that recognizes the wisdom and leadership of BIPOC people and communities
Identify opportunities for reframing ways of operating in the wake of COVID, and through centering the voices of BIPOC leaders in use of racial equity analyses across our operations
While COVID has been an incredible challenge for us, it is important that we continue to recognize that the greatest impacts of this pandemic has been on the lives and well-being of individuals communities of color. While it can feel natural for us to lean toward COVID recovery and a desire to “return to normal”, now more than ever, we need to continue to challenge ourselves to reimagine, rethink, and reengage in ways that center those who have been most marginalized. We are grateful for the work nINA Collective did to help us hold space for this important conversation, and we look forward continuing to dig in to the work we have in front of us.