Iowa City’s Racial Equity Report provides data on the racial demographics of youth and adult interactions with law enforcement, City board and commission members, and City staff. The full report can be found at http://bit.ly/2fuF4R3
In June 2012, the 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, Transportation Services Department and also the Community Police Review Board to provide a set of recommendations to the City Council on improvements that could be made on diversity-related matters. Publishing of an annual racial equity report was one of the recommendations.
Stefanie Bowers, Iowa City’s Equity Director, says that the 2015 report corrects a data set and an appendix report that were mislabeled in the 2013 and 2014 Reports on Racial Equity.
The 2015 Report on Racial Equity is also updated to reflect the proper language that should be used when referring to youth and the criminal justice system.
Bowers hopes that in the near future, the City will show improvements in its numbers based on some of its current initiatives, including the use of racial equity review tools, continuation in the disproportionate minority contact study with Saint Ambrose University and the social justice and racial equity strategic plan. Community input has been very beneficial in this process and the City will continue to fortify relationships with an emphasis on communities of color through outreach, education, conversation, and collaboration, Bowers said.