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Currently across the country, regardless of region, racial inequities exist across every indicator for success - including health, criminal justice, education, jobs, housing, and beyond. We know these inequities are incongruent with our aspirations. The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley and Center for Social Inclusion, recognizes that we can and must do better. We know that government has a key role in advancing racial equity, and therefore are modeling at the local level how it is truly possible for government to advance racial equity and to develop into an inclusive and effective democracy.
While local governments may consider themselves fair and just, people of color fare worse than their white counterparts in every area: housing, employment, education, justice, and health. Current day disparities are just as bad and sometimes worse than they were before the Civil Rights era. Since then, most governments have not made significant changes in outcomes for employees or residents of color, even with years of effort. Because local governments have a unique responsibility to all residents, these racial inequities can and must be addressed. The public sector must be for the public good; current racial inequities are destructive. We must go beyond individual, intentional discrimination or acts of bigotry, and examine the systems in which we all live. We must investigate - honestly - how our longstanding systems, policies, and practices, unintentionally or not, have created and continue to maintain racial inequity, and we must change them.