Social Justice and Racial Equity Initiative
In June 2012, the Iowa City City Council established the Diversity Committee which was formulated to serve as an ad hoc council committee to review issues relating to diversity within the City organization. The committee reviewed the policies, practices and procedures within the Iowa City Police Department and the Transportation Services Department with the intent to provide a set of recommendations to the City Council on diversity-related matters. In March 2013, the Diversity Committee supplied the City Council and City staff with their recommendations. City staff developed an implementation form and reporting process designed to incorporate recommendations from both the Diversity Committee and City staff. The City Manager initiated a Diversity Task force and appointed an Equity Director to ensure the recommendations are implemented and in compliance with the goals of the City Council. The Council passed a resolution supporting various recommendations from City staff and the Diversity Committee.
Social Justice and Racial Equity Grant
In fiscal year 2017 the City Council approved $25,000 for a new grant entitled the Social Justice and Racial Equity Grant (SJRE). The SJRE grant lists six priority service areas: Education, Building Community, Housing, Criminal Justice, Health, and Employment. The Human Rights Commission reviews applications then forwards its recommendations to the City Council for review and approval. Organizations whose programs, services or activities address one or more of these priorities will be considered first for funding.
City Council Resolutions in Support of Inclusive, Diverse and Safe Communities
Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Dr. Christopher Barnum, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Director of Graduate Studies Masters in Criminal Justice at St. Ambrose University, has been studying Iowa City Police Department traffic stop data from the years of 2005-2007, 2010- to present.
Social Justice and Racial Equity Quarterly Updates
The Social Justice and Racial Equity Quarterly Updates supplies the public with up-to-date information regarding the Council Resolution approving the 2015 Equity Action Plan and the Five Areas of Focus.
Diversity Implementation Update and Status on Racial Equity and Diversity Initiative 1st Quarter 2016
Diversity Implementation Update and Status on Racial Equity and Diversity Initiative 2nd Quarter 2016
Diversity Implementation Update and Status on Racial Equity and Diversity Initiative 3rd Quarter 2016
Social Justice and Racial Equity 4th Quarter Update for 2016
Social Justice and Racial Equity 1st Quarter Update for 2017
Appointed by the City Manager, the Equity Director serves as adviser to the City Manager on issues of equity and diversity, and coordinates the City’s efforts and initiatives with regard to education, customer service, partnerships and publishing an annual comprehensive racial equity report.
City Manager's Roundtable
Created by the City Manager, the Roundtable meets bi-monthly to discuss City efforts at eliminating racial disparities. The Roundtable is made up of chairs and directors of community organizations and City staff.
Annual Racial Equity Report
The racial equity report is a way for the City to measure its progress as it relates to improvements for communities of color. The report published since 2015, provides the yearly racial demographics for police charges against youth and adults, the racial demographics of City staff and the racial demographics of persons serving on City Boards and Commissions.
Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE)
The City of Iowa City is a part of the Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE). GARE is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Across the country, governmental jurisdictions are:
- Making a commitment to achieving racial equity
- Focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and
- Working in partnership with others
When this occurs, significant leverage and expansion opportunities emerge, setting the stage for the achievement of racial equity in our communities.
More information about GARE is available at http://racialequityalliance.org/.