It is our duty to be a leader in creating a culture that ends racial disparities within city government, and to promote racial equity through policy, procedures, and programs that inspire the Culver City community.
How the City came to join GARE
In 2016, the City Council held a workshop aimed at preparing a Strategic Plan for the City. The workshop identified “promoting workforce diversity and development” as one of its key objectives. Shortly thereafter, various City Council and staff attended a presentation given by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), which led the City to join the organization as an official member. GARE is a national network of local governments working to achieve racial equity and to advance opportunities for all. GARE leads with race to acknowledge that racial inequity has been built into all sectors of government, rendering disparate outcomes for people of color. As public servants, we have the opportunity to improve programs and policies that support and uplift communities instead of maintaining decades of systemic marginalization.
In late 2016, a cohort of staff representing all departments was formed who attended a year-long series of courses conducted by Race Forward. In late 2017, the City created an additional cohort who completed the same curriculum. The work continues today with a GARE Core team consisting of members from both cohorts. Together, using Adaptive Leadership principles, the two cohorts have teamed up to prepare the City’s Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP), a document that aims to normalize conversations around race, organize staff capacity through training, and operationalize racial equity by embedding a racial equity lens into routine decision-making. Through the use of Results Based Accountability, the City can start to develop its vision for racial equity in partnership with community. One of the trainings identified in the REAP is to attend a staff training on implicit bias. In 2018, 173 employees attended Reverend Dr. Bryant T. Marks’s 4-hour Implicit Bias training course, which identifies the unconscious biases we all hold and how these biases can have significant and detrimental implications in our everyday decision-making.
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The Culver City Ad Hoc Equity Subcommittee, Council Members Lee and Sahli-Wells, is hosting an ongoing series of teach-ins and conversations around individual, institutional, and structural racism. The series of teach-ins aims to meet the urgency of the moment by listening to community voices and recognizing how racism shows up in interpersonal interactions, institutions, and cultural, historical, and ideological structures. Each conversation focuses on how racism manifests itself in our systems.
The Equity Subcommittee held its first conversation as part of the ongoing series of teach-ins on June 19, 2020, also known as Juneteenth. This date holds incredible significance by commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
June 19, 2020: Culver City Equity Subcommittee Community Conversation
July 24, 2020: Individual, Institutional, and Structural Racism: Finding Meaning in the Maze
October 3, 2020: Culver City Equity Subcommittee - Community Teach In- Third Conversation