Racial equity means closing the gaps so that race does not predict one’s success, while improving outcomes for all.
Our diversity makes us dynamic
Our racial and cultural diversity makes Brooklyn Park a unique place to live, work, and play. Over half of our residents are people of color. Nearly a quarter of us are foreign-born, and more than a quarter speak a language other than English at home. We’re home to large group of Asian and African residents. Hispanic/Latinx, African-American, and White residents also call Brooklyn Park home.
Our commitment to racial equity
We’re proud of our diversity, but we also have racial disparities in poverty rates, educational attainment, home ownership, and unemployment rates. We want to remove these inequities. By training our staff and changing our policies and practices, we can make Brooklyn Park a place where opportunities truly exist for all.
We heard from our residents that we all want to improve our community. To do that, we need to close the gaps and improve quality of life for everyone.
Racial equity work aligns with our city values. In particular we value:
- Being culturally competent
- Including the people affected by decisions in the decision making process
- Addressing economic, geographic, and racial inequities
Our community has changed so much in the last few decades that doing the same things no longer gets us the desired results. We have to figure out how to be more effective to get the outcomes our community expects.
Here are some ways we are working towards racial equity.
We’re using the Intercultural Development framework to train our staff and leaders. We also offer monthly racial equity learning labs. At these events we learn about other cultures and challenge staff to think about how we can make our work more inviting and inclusive.
Our goal is for everyone who works for Brooklyn Park, from the front desk to the top office, to be culturally competent. That way we can all help each other to focus our work on equity.
Racial equity tool
We trained key staff to think about how proposed actions could impact communities of color. They use a toolkit that guides them to consider if an idea will promote of hinder equity. By testing ideas, we’re asking important questions so we can prevent unintended consequences before they happen.
The racial equity team
This team includes staff from throughout the organization. Team members get additional training and lead efforts in the city to promote racial equity. They also create action plans and organize staff activities to push the racial equity work we’re doing forward.