The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of government entities working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all persons. Milwaukee County joined GARE as a Core Member and has made a commitment to advance racial equity across all functions of their jurisdiction. The effort is spearheaded by the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs or OAAA which formed in 2016. In 2019, Milwaukee County Executive Abele declared racism to be a public health crisis.
To demonstrate its commitment, a Racial Equity Work Plan or Strategic Plan has been developed, integrating racial equity into other strategic or operational plans, and the use of a Racial Equity Toolkit in routine decision making. In addition, Milwaukee County's work includes required racial equity trainings for all full time County employees. The County leadership team received 16 hours of racial equity training from OAAA and YWCA of Southeastern WI. The representative from Milwaukee Public Library is Kristina Gomez.
There is a new racial equity Ambassador Program comprised of 60+ people from leadership, front line staff, and community partners. These ambassadors will provide input in the Racial Equity Work Plan.
RACIAL EQUITY TOOL
Racial equity tools are designed to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in decisions, including policies, practices, programs, and budgets. It is both a product and a process. Use of a racial equity tool can help to develop strategies and actions that reduce racial inequities and improve success for all groups. Too often, policies and programs are developed and implemented without thoughtful consideration of racial equity.
When racial equity is not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, racial inequities are likely to be
perpetuated. Racial equity tools provide a structure for institutionalizing the consideration of racial equity.