Planning and Governing for Racial Equity

NPC17 attendee
APA member
List Price
Group viewing

You'll learn about:

  • How to normalize conversations about equity and increase shared understanding

  • A racial-equity tool that you can use in development and review of policies and practices and an equity-action plan template

  • Case studies from Salinas, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., that offer two different but effective approaches to governing for racial equity 

  • The value of racial healing to achieving racial equity

The urban planning profession has always had a complicated relationship to race in America. While most planners believe in the concept and the value of racial equity, our historic and current actions and policies have often resulted in explicit or unintentional segregation and unequal neighborhood conditions and services. Many comprehensive plans now include racial and social equity as a vision and goal, but there has been little guidance on how to operationalize these values. To address the root causes of inequity, government organizations must reimagine and reconfigure how they do business. The  innovative practice of reorganizing government institutions to create more equitable outcomes is called “Governing for Racial Equity” (GRE).

Learn the nuts and bolts of this emerging practice. This session’s speakers will provide a justification for and overview of GRE, examine case studies that highlight different GRE approaches in two different cities, and share tools and resources for public agency planners and consultants to incorporate GRE goals into their practice.

About the Speakers

Nora Liu
Member ID (expired) 279458. She is no longer with the City of Seattle. NORA LIU, PROJECT MANAGER – RACIAL EQUITY HERE Nora Liu is the project manager for Racial Equity Here, a joint project of Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE)/CSI and Living Cities, that supports a new cohort of cities to proactively advance racial equity. Nora brings over twenty years of experience working with communities to improve racial and social equity. For ten years immediately prior to joining GARE/CSI, she worked to serve Seattle’s communities of color through her positions within the City of Seattle. Most recently she was the Community Development Manager for Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) where her work created policy, tools, and practices to leverage public and private investments to meet community goals and to support the ability of historically marginalized communities to shape their own futures. Nora was one of the major authors of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI)—which works towards a Seattle which is diverse and where all people can achieve their full potential regardless of race or means. Its components include: Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan with race and social equity as a core value; an Equity Analysis to inform the City’s Growth Strategy; the Equitable Development Implementation Plan, a roadmap to systemic change; and community based Race and Social Equity Leadership. The EDI is a joint effort of OPCD and the Office for Civil Rights / Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Glenn Harris
GLENN HARRIS, PRESIDENT Glenn Harris has been working on issues of race and social justice for over twenty years. He has worked with community groups, foundations, and government agencies dedicated to building a more just and democratic society. He is the President of Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), a national non-profit organization that catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity. CSI crafts and applies strategies and tools to transform our nation’s policies and practices, in order to ensure equitable outcomes for all. Previously, Glenn worked as the Manager of the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), whose mission is to end institutionalized racism in City government and promote multiculturalism and full participation by all residents. The Initiative’s long-term goal is to change the underlying systems that maintain race-based disparities in order to achieve equity. Glenn has supported the start of similar initiatives in jurisdictions across the country, and helped to found the Government Alliance on Race and Equity. Glenn also established the Seattle Office of the Community Police Commission in 2012, when the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the City of Seattle entered into a settlement agreement to address concerns of excessive use of force and biased policing. The agreement included a substantive role for the Community Police Commission to monitor the implementation of police department reforms and to provide ongoing community input. Glenn came to City government after serving five years as Development Director at Western States Center, an intermediary that provides technical assistance, training, research, and policy analysis in an eight-state region to grassroots organizations working to achieve social change. Glenn was also the Interim-Director at the MRG Foundation in Portland Oregon, and is currently a board member of the Philanthropic Initiative on Racial Equity, and the Willamette Valley Law Project, an Oregon based non-profit supporting farmworker rights. Glenn has appeared on CNN and has written for numerous publications. An engaging speaker, he regularly conducts conference keynote addresses.

Beth Altshuler
Beth is a Senior Associate who works with public agencies, foundations, CBOs, and residents to apply a Health (and Equity) in All Policies lens to the challenges and opportunities in their communities. Beth loves combining her skills in data analysis, community engagement and facilitation, and policy analysis so places can better incorporate public health, racial equity, and environmental justice into their land use and urban policy decisions. At the forefront of the healthy communities discipline for 15 years, Beth is committed to creating livable places, reducing health and racial inequities, and engaging residents in the future of their communities. Beth holds masters’ degrees in both City and Regional Planning and Public Health Epidemiology & Biostatistics from UC Berkeley, a BA in Sociology from Cornell University, and is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Andrea Manzo
Andrea Manzo is Hub Manager for the East Salinas Building Healthy Communities, a 10-year initiative funded by The California Endowment. Her role is to support the BHC initiative including its grantees by forging relationships with community and government ensuring meaningful collaboration. She is an advocate for authentic community engagement and is passionate about supporting youth to be agents of change and opportunity in their community. In partnership with the City of Salinas, she co-leads the Salinas Governing for Racial Equity (GRE) Steering Committee and leads the BHC GRE Action Team, which focuses on implementing racial equity policies and practices within local government. As the daughter of immigrant parents she is deeply rooted in her culture. She grew up in Salinas and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicana/o Studies and French Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2015 she was honored as one of the Women of the Year by the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women commending her work with youth on the only nationally youth-led open streets event, Ciclovía Salinas.

Megan Hunter
Megan Hunter serves as Salinas’ Community Development Director leading six divisions committed to creating a safe, healthy, and prosperous Salinas. Under her direction, the department has refocused its priorities on advancing housing production, addressing homelessness, and creating a road map for the revitalization of two disadvantaged communities. Prior to moving to Salinas, Megan served as the Planning & Development Director in Flint, leading the development of the City’s first Master Plan since 1960. Megan also spent 11 years as a planner in Los Angeles with both the Redevelopment Agency and Department of City Planning. Key projects included: industrial expansion near the Port of Los Angeles, revitalization of San Pedro’s Downtown, a streetscape plan for L.A. Live, and establishment of 4 historic districts. Megan has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.