WASHINGTON — A three-year roadmap for the District's first-ever Racial Equity Action Plan was released Wednesday outlining actions that D.C. will take to close racial equity gaps.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and Amber Hewitt, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Racial Equity (ORE), released the action plan which provide District residents the chance to provide feedback. Feedback for the draft of the plan can be submitted through an online form from Nov. 16 to Jan. 2, 2023.
“It is our charge and our responsibility to put in place policies that are intentional about ending structural racism and reversing the legacies of policies that intentionally locked Black and brown Washingtonians out of opportunity and the ability to build wealth,” Mayor Bowser said. “And every District agency is responsible for helping us build a more equitable D.C. The Racial Equity Action Plan is critical in that it will help guide our work and ensure agencies are being more intentional about applying a racial equity lens to policies and investments.”
The Racial Equity Action Plan will chart a path for the District to improve outcomes for all Washingtonians, in particular, residents who have been the most impacted by structural racism.
The goals of the plan are for D.C. Government to:
- Employ staff who understand and are committed to achieving racial equity.
- Commit to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities.
- Commit to meaningfully engaging community in government decision-making processes and strengthening community partnerships.
- Be an equitable employer and engage in racially equitable hiring, promotion, and retention practices.
The plan was developed through the work of members from the ORE who led multiple community engagement forums during fall 2021 and held multiple internal stakeholder sessions with District agencies in July and August of 2022. The plan also includes racial equity indicators to measure ways in which residents experience racial equity gaps. The indicators span seven proposed categories: education, health, economic opportunity, safety, neighborhood life, civic engagement, and housing.
“We are committed to moving forward Mayor Bowser’s vision of creating a city where every Washingtonian has the opportunity to thrive. This work involves cross-agency collaboration and meaningful community engagement that has resulted in the District’s first action plan,” ORE Director Amber Hewitt said.