An Introduction to Racial EquityAssessment ToolsGoverning For Racial EquityMarch 2014Terry KeleherRace Forward
About Race Forward Race Forward advances racial justice through research,media, and practice. Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovativeapproach to complex race issues to help people takeeffective action towards racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines andpresents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracialconference on racial justice.
Racial JusticeRacial Justiceis the systemic fair treatmentof all peoplethat results inequal opportunities and outcomesfor everyone.
Implicit Bias Implicit biases are pervasive People are often unaware of their implicit bias Implicit biases predict behavior People differ in levels of implicit bias-- Project Implicit (www.projectimplicit.net)
Examples of Implicit Bias Doctors are less likely to prescribe life-saving care toblacks. Managers are less likely to call back or hire members ofa different ethnic group. NBA referees are more likely to subtly favor players withwhom they share a racial identity. Teachers call on boys more often than girls.Source: racial bias examples from /
Implicit Bias is:Individual AND Institutional A lot of racial inequities occur without intention or malice.It does not require “racists. ” Implicit bias helps explainhow racism can be subtle in appearance but significant inimpact. In institutions, the bias of individuals is routinely replicatedthrough collective decisions and actions. It becomescompounded unless it’s consciously counteracted. “Implicit Bias offers the idea that discrimination and biasare social, rather than individual issues, and that we canthus all participate in promoting equality.”--American Values Project
Implicit Bias and Public Policy Most policies are facially neutral (race silent) but notracially neutral—they have negative or positive racialimpacts. Negative racial impacts may or may not have beenintentional. Positive racial impacts often requireintentionality. When racial impacts are not consciously consideredduring the lawmaking/decision-making process, there ismore likelihood that negative racial impacts will result-implicit bias is the default.
Choice Points:The Crossroads to Change
Choice Points Choice points are decision-making opportunities thatinfluence outcomes. The cumulative impacts of many small choices can be assignificant as the impacts of big decisions. When we’re conscious of choice points and the relatedimpacts, we’re less likely to replicate implicit bias and thestatus quo, and we open new possibilities for equitablechange.
Choice Points: ExamplesPersonalInstitutionalConsumer decisions: where toshop, what to buy, or boycott?Planning: what to change andprioritize in programs/workplans?Volunteer work: what causes toget involved in?Budgeting: what items toprioritize, add or cut?Charitable contributions: whatorganizations to support?Personnel: who to hire, retain,promote, or develop as leaders?Socializing: who to spend timewith?Policy Development: what topropose or modify?Voting: which candidates orcauses to support?Practices: routines/habits tocontinue, change, or cut?
Using Choice Points:Organizational Example Citizen Action of New York (CANY) has adopted astandard set of questions to consider when analyzingsocial issues they want to address. This helps them thinkabout how different racial groups are affected and whetherto explicitly address racism in their framing of the issue. This deliberate practice serves as an equity prime—areminder that evokes consideration and consciousness ofracial/gender impacts and racial/gender equity—during animportant choice point; thereby helping to counteractunconscious bias.
Choice Points in the CriminalJustice System The criminal justice system has many decision-makingpoints and decision-makers where discretion is exercised. “For a single defendant, these biases may surface forvarious decisions makers repeatedly in policing, charging,bail, plea bargaining, pretrial motions, evidentiary motions,witness credibility, lawyer persuasiveness, guiltdetermination, sentencing recommendations, sentencingitself, appeal, and so on. Even small biases, at each stagemay aggregate into a substantial effect.” -- UCLA lawprofessor Jerry Kang To change an entire system, we have to examine howdecisions are made throughout the system, at everychoice point, by every decision-maker.
Using Choice Points to AdvanceEquity and Inclusion1. Where are the decision-making points that affect outcomes?2. What decisions/actions may be reinforcing the status quo, implicitbias and current inequities?3. What alternative action options could produce different outcomes?4. Which action will best advance equity and inclusion?5. What reminders, supports and accountability systems can bestructured into routine practices to keep equity as a high priority?
Cultivating Equity Mindfulness We can choose to create the space and support to act Consciously Consistently and Courageouslyon our values. We can practice pushing the “pause button” to interrupt ourpatterns, fears and biases. We can develop “equity musclesand memory” to override old habits and responses. We can learn to prime ourselves and others to take mindfulaction.
Pair & Share: Using Choice Points1. Identify a choice point: What is a choice point in your ownwork where you have some influence on a decision orcourse of action that may affect racial/gender outcomes?2. Generate some options: For that choice point, identifysome alternative actions that could lead to different andmore equitable outcomes.3. Select a new course of action: Decide which option couldleverage the most equitable change.
Institutionalizing Racial EquityImplicit BiasExplicit EquityUnaware of choice pointsBuilds in decision-making guidesthat evoke consideration of equityExclusive of stakeholdersFosters active engagement andempowerment of stakeholdersNot attentive to race, gender,income and other inequitiesGives distinct, specific andsufficient attention to keydisparities/inequitiesIgnores barriers to accessSupports and implementsstrategies to remove barriersDoes not consider racial impactsSystematically analyzes potentialimpacts on disadvantaged groups
Explicit Equity (“Equity-Mindedness”) Proactively seeks to eliminate inequities and advanceracial equity in policy and program development,budgeting, planning and decision-making. Thoughtfully considers the impacts of proposeddecisions on different racial/ethnic groups, with addedattention to stakeholders who are most disadvantaged ormarginalized. Identifies clear goals and objectives, measureableoutcomes, and tasks and timelines. Developsmechanisms for successful implementation,documentation and evaluation, with ample staffing,funding and support for success and sustainability.
Equity Primes as Debiasing Tools Judicial Bench Cards Equity-Driven Planning Pocket Guide to Budgeting Equity Impact Assessments
History: Assessing ImpactsEnvironmental Impact Statements (EIS): required by theNational Environmental Policy Act of 1969, are a decisionmaking tool that describes the positive and negative effectsof proposed actions “significantly affecting the quality of thehuman environment,” and identifies alternative actions thatcan be taken to mitigate adverse impacts.
History: Preventing ProblemsVoting Rights Act, Section 5Preclearance: 1965 Civil Rightslegislation designed to outlawdiscriminatory voting practices.Sec on 5 of the Act requires that theU.S. Dept. of Jus ce to "preclear" anya;empt to change “any vo ngqualiﬁca on or prerequisite to vo ng,or standard, prac ce, or procedurewith respect to vo ng." in any"covered jurisdic on.”
History: A Mandate forSystemic Racial EquityRace Relations (Amendment) Act 2000,United Kingdom: established a statutorygeneral duty for government authorities topromote race equality by:1) eliminating unlawful discrimination;2) promoting equality of opportunity; and3) promoting good relations betweenpersons of different racial groups.The general duty was expanded in 2010to include age, disability, sex, genderreassignment, pregnancy and maternity,race, religion or belief and sexualorientation.
History: A Mandate forSystemic Racial Equity The United Kingdom also required government agencies touse Racial Equality Impact Assessments (REIAs). They defined these as “ a way of systematically andthoroughly assessing, and consulting on, the effects that aproposed policy is likely to have on people, depending ontheir racial group The main purpose of a race equalityimpact assessment is to pre-empt the possibility that yourproposed policy could affect some racial groupsunfavourably.” (UK Race Relations Act, 2000)
Why Use REIAs? To engage stakeholders in decision-making, especiallythose most adversely affected by current conditions. To bring conscious attention to racial inequities andimpacts before decisions get made. To avoid or minimize adverse impacts and unintendedconsequences. To prevent racism from occurring in the first place—to getahead of the curve of rapidly replicating racism. To affirmatively advance racial equity, inclusion and unity.
GovernanceKing County, WA: Equity andSocial Justice Initiative asks alldepartments to use a “fair and justprinciple” to achieve equitableopportunities for all, and to use an“Equity Impact Review Tool” toconsciously address theelimination of racism in the areasof:1)policymaking & decision-making2)organizational operations, and3)community engagement andcommunications.
GovernanceSeattle: Race and Social Justice Initiative asks alldepartments to use “Racial Equity Analysis” questions forpolicy development and budget-making. Questions includehow proposed actions support: economic equity and contracting; immigrant & refugee access to services; public engagement and outreach; workforce equity; and capacity building.
PolicymakingOregon Criminal Justice and Child WelfareBill: House Bill 2053 would allow any lawmaker torequest a study analyzing the impact of childwelfare and criminal justice laws on racial andethnic communities.
Stakeholder Engagement is Key
Racial Equity Impact AssessmentWhat are Racial Equity Impact Assessments?A Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) is asystematic examination of how different racial and ethnicgroups will likely be affected by a proposed action ordecision. REIAs are used to minimize unanticipated adverseconsequences in a variety of contexts, including the analysisof proposed policies, institutional practices, programs, plansand budgetary decisions. The REIA can be a vital tool forpreventing institutional racism and for identifying newoptions to remedy long-standing inequities.Why are they needed?REIAs are used to reduce, eliminate and prevent racialdiscrimination and inequities. The persistence of deepracial disparities and divisions across society is evidenceof institutional racism––the routine, often invisible andunintentional, production of inequitable social opportunitiesand outcomes. When racial equity is not consciouslyaddressed, racial inequality is often unconsciouslyreplicated.When should it be conducted?REIAs are best conducted during the decision-makingprocess, prior to enacting new proposals. They are usedto inform decisions, much like environmental impactstatements, fiscal impact reports and workplace riskassessments.Where are they in use?The use of REIAs in the U.S. is relatively new and stillsomewhat limited, but new interest and initiatives are on therise. The United Kingdom has been using them with successfor nearly a decade.EXAMPLES OF RACIAL JUSTICE EQUITYIMPACTSEquity and Social Justice InitiativeKing County, WAThe county government is using an Equity Impact ReviewTool to intentionally consider the promotion of equity in thedevelopment and implementation of key policies, programsand funding decisions.Race and Social Justice InitiativeSeattle, WACity Departments are using a set of Racial EquityAnalysis questions as filters for policy development andbudget making.Minority Impact StatementsIowa and ConnecticutBoth states have passed legislation which requires theexamination of the racial and ethnic impacts of all newsentencing laws prior to passage. Commissions have beencreated in Illinois and Wisconsin to consider adoptinga similar review process. Related measures are beingproposed in other states, based on a model developed by theSentencing Project.Proposed Racial Equity Impact PolicySt. Paul, MNIf approved by the city council, a Racial Equity Impact Policywould require city staff and developers to compile a “RacialEquity Impact Report” for all development projects thatreceive a public subsidy of 100,000 or more.Race Equality Impact AssessmentsUnited KingdomSince 2000, all public authorities required to develop andpublish race equity plans must assess proposed policiesusing a Race Equality Impact Assessment, a systematicprocess for analysis. 2009, Terry Keleher, Applied Research Center. www.arc.org
Racial Equity Impact Assessment GUIDEBelow are sample questions to use to anticipate, assess and prevent potential adverseconsequences of proposed actions on different racial groups.1. IDENTIFYING STAKEHOLDERSWhich racial/ethnic groups may be most affected by andconcerned with the issues related to this proposal?2. ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERSHave stakeholders from different racial/ethnic groups—especially those most adversely affected—been informed,meaningfully involved and authentically represented in thedevelopment of this proposal? Who’s missing and how canthey be engaged?3. I IDENTIFYING AND DOCUMENTINGRACIAL INEQUITIESWhich racial/ethnic groups are currently most advantagedand most disadvantaged by the issues this proposal seeksto address? How are they affected differently? Whatquantitative