Category: Racial Equity

Advancing Health Equity Across Systems in Your City

As part of Grand Rapids’ participation in the Cities of Opportunity pilot, an initiative to advance cross-sector health equity work, the city added health and environment as a new strategic priority. The National League of Cities (NLC) spoke with Becky Jo Glover, chief customer service and innovation officer for the City of Grand Rapids, and

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Racial Bias in Facial Recognition Technology: What City Leaders Should Know

On July 1 the City of San Francisco effected a ban on facial recognition technology—the first of its kind in the nation.  Aimed at leading with transparency, accountability and equity, the ban passed as part of the city’s Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance.  While the city stopped testing facial recognition technology in 2007 and has not

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Implicit Bias, Liability and Cities

We all have bias. An inescapable reality of humanity, bias is the evaluation of one group and its members relative to another and can be implicit or explicit. Implicit bias refers to the way people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit feelings, attitudes, and judgments towards other individuals and groups. By understanding the implicit biases embedded

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In Grand Rapids, Neighborhoods Are the Cornerstone of Racial Equity

In 2015, Grand Rapids was home to about 40,000 African-Americans, who made up between 20 percent and 21 percent of the population. That same year, Forbes magazine listed Grand Rapids, Mich. as one of the worst places for African-Americans economically in the United States. But after the Michigan Department of Civil Rights released a report

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From Racial Equity and Repair, Strategies for Changing Policy Emerge

Repair. What does it mean to repair decades and centuries of ill-treatment, discrimination, exploited labor, death, and massacre? How do city, town, and village leaders grapple with the legacy of what governments have wrought on people of color and indigenous people throughout the United States in ways that are actionable, restorative, and authentic to the

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America’s Fastest Growing Cities Are Becoming More Diverse, But Face Rising Inequity

Ninety-eight percent of growth in the hundred largest cities since 2000 was from growth in minority populations. A Brookings Institution analysis of the 2011- 2015 American Community Survey found that despite this increased diversity in cities, racial segregation has only moderately declined. Dominantly white neighborhoods in cities were 79 percent white in 2000 and 72

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Reversing the Residual Effects of Redlining

A process beginning in the 1930s, redlining describes how banks and government agencies discriminated by race in determinations for federally-backed mortgages. At the March Congressional City Conference, local leaders used redlining maps of Baltimore and Muskegon, Mich. to examine the intersection between racial equity and affordable housing. “Housing is a key priority for NLC and

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How Detroit Created a Green Oasis in the Middle of Motor City

Three years ago, the first Detroit Outdoors campers in Scout Hollow admired a pair of Red Tail Hawk parents feeding their chick nestled in a huge nest perched in a tall Sycamore Tree. The hawks’ vantage point gave them a commanding view of the 5-acre meadow and Detroit’s only campground, which had been unused for

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