Equity New Orleans Strategy Launch: Panel Discussion And Closing Remarks
The Equity New Orleans Strategy Launch event took place at Hyatt Regency New Orleans on April 20, 2017. DCAP MEDIA LLC President/Founder Daniela Capistrano was present and recorded the panel discussion and closing remarks to share with her network and client-partners.
As a business owner and equity advocate based in New Orleans, it was important for Capistrano to make the information shared at the launch event accessible to everyone – as quickly as possible.
PART 1 (First panelist speaking is W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Director Rhea Williams-Bishop):PART 2 (Including closing remarks by Mayor Landrieu):
Spearheaded by Mayor Landrieu, the Equity Strategy is "the first-ever citywide initiative in New Orleans that seeks to address inequities due to economic, racial or geographic disparities that prevent New Orleans from growing to its full capacity. Additionally, the strategy will inform City decision-making and development of future policies, program and services, leading to a more equitable government for the benefit of all New Orleanians."
#EquityNewOrleans is funded by the W.K. Kellog Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana.
#EquityNewOrleans Strategy Launch Recap
Hosted at the Hyatt Regency and welcoming over 500 attendees, the launch event included remarks from Mayor Landrieu and other City leaders. The event also featured a panel discussing why equitable practices are a priority for government and other sectors. Panelists included PolicyLink Senior Director Sarah Treuhaft, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Director Rhea Williams-Bishop, GARE Director and Senior Vice-President of the Center for Social Inclusion Julie Nelson, and Foundation for Louisiana President Flozell Daniels, Jr. The discussion was moderated by Deputy Mayor and Chief & Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Hebert.
Equity New Orleans: What You Need To Know
In April 2016, the City began convening residents and City officials, conferring with national experts and examining best practice models for data around what an equitable government looks like.
In June 2016, as part of the first community listening session, the City formally launched the EquityNewOrleans initiative. During community listening sessions, the initiative provided information on a number of areas where the Administration is currently doing equity-focused workincluding: resilience and sustainability, land use, housing, economic opportunity, criminal justice reform, health, infrastructure, digital equity, NOLA FOR LIFE reentry, and transportation, access and mobility.
Additionally, EquityNewOrleans engaged senior City leadership, department heads and managers in City government by creating equity leadership and action teams, where participants were provided equity-focused training workshops to understand the role of equity in government and increase shared knowledge.
To date, over 300 City employees, residents, youth, elected officials, advocacy leaders, business leaders and non-profit leaders have been interviewed to establish a baseline of understanding equity across New Orleans.
Over the past year, the City of New Orleans has worked with both PolicyLink and the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE), two organizations that work with cities that have prioritized equity. The EquityNewOrleans initiative was generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana (FFL).
“Over this past year, we have worked hard to engage City leaders and residents from across the city to determine what an equitable government looks like. We are excited to present a well-researched, data-driven strategy that will impact the way we serve New Orleanians for generations to come, said Equity Strategy Director Roxanne Franklin. “Our successful strategy launch is only the beginning and we look forward to collaborating with City departments and other critical stakeholders to create a more equitable government.”
Following the event, attendees participated in an After-Session that featured City initiatives aimed at reducing disparities in New Orleans, including Housing Policy and Community Development, Health Equity, Digital Equity, Resilience and Sustainability, The Network for Economic Opportunity, Criminal Justice Reform, NOLA FOR LIFE, and Transportation, Mobility and Access. In addition, PolicyLink presented their new data report, An Equity Profile of New Orleans.
Councilmember Jason Rogers Williams said, “On the eve of our City’s 300th birthday, I am proud to support this equity initiative. Maintaining equity as a core tenet of our public sector will create a unique, social-justice focused perspective that will shine a light on communities that have been left in the dark for far too long. This practice will benefit all sectors and residents of New Orleans.”
Equity New Orleans: The Plan
As the City approaches its 300th anniversary, the EquityNewOrleans strategy will help to lay the foundation for the next 300 years. The City will:
- Establish an Equity Office that will be responsible for: promoting equity and reducing disparities within City government; providing guidance, education and technical assistance to City departments as they develop sustainable methods to build capacity in achieving equitable outcomes; and, working to produce measurable improvements and disparity reductions in City policies, programs and service delivery.
- Take Executive and Legislative actions that embed equity as a fundamental value and goal of City of New Orleans government.
- Using Equity as a Component of the Budgeting Process, will direct City of NewOrleans departments and offices to assess the equity and social impacts of budget requests to ensure programs, projects and other investments help reduce disparities and promote service-level equity, improve participation and support leadership development.
- Create City Department Equity Plans that will allow City administrators to create their own departmental Equity Plans focused on accepting responsibility to reduce disparities within their scope of influence. These plans are to be outcome-driven and departments will be expected to report not just on actions, but also on the outcomes of those actions.
- Implement the use of an Equity Assessment Tool to provide an opportunity to thoughtfully evaluate the potential racial equity impacts of a policy, program or initiative; to consider existing, or other data and information to gauge improvements; and, to consider and engage stakeholders in the decision-making process.
- Establish City of New Orleans Equity Teams to engage leadership and staff to become advisors, champions and users of racial equity tools to advance equitable outcomes and to increase awareness of and attention to racial equity in policy & practice.
- Establish an Equity-focused Performance Management program to track implementation of the equity strategy through identified indicators, measuring change over time and the impact of public sector investments and policy changes.
- Establish a Racial Equity Community Roundtable that forwards the work of equity in City government. It will include leaders from all sectors that will both inform the City’s work to advance equity, and increase the use of an equity lens within the community and their own organizations.
- Launch Racial Equity Training for all employees and members of boards and commissions including the implementation of a “Train the Trainer” model focused on building internal capacity. The training will provide increased understanding of institutional barriers and the role, responsibilities and opportunities for government to advance racial equity both internally and in partnership with other institutions and the community.
- Launch Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement Training for employees to effectively plan and implement inclusive engagement strategies to help ensure that participation in public engagement efforts fully reflect the demographics of the NewOrleans community.
- Advance Workforce Equity through the development of a City of New Orleans Workforce Demographics Dashboard, an analysis of hiring processes for racial disparities and specialized Human Resources Racial Equity Tools Training.
- Develop an Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement Guide designed to increase access to information, resources and civic processes to communities through the implementation of racially and culturally inclusive outreach and public engagement processes.
- Create an EquityNewOrleans Public Awareness Campaign that will serve as the visual campaign to increase awareness about the role of equity within City government.
- Additional reporting at NOLA.com
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