The City of Dallas Discusses Advancing Equity Through Measurements and Accountability – 3rd Annual Equity Indicators Symposium
The Office of Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), held the 2022 Equity Indicators Symposium on Friday, Jan. 14, in alignment with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration week. The City continues to move the needle on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities highlighted in the 2019 Equity Indicators Report.
For the third annual symposium, the Office of Equity and Inclusion focused on the key roles that actions, measurements and accountability play in addressing historic and existing disparities. The three-and-a-half-hour virtual event focused on advancing racial equity through the development of policies, strong-clear measures, and explicit accountability.
With over 310 attendees, the virtual event opened with welcoming remarks from Chief of Equity & Inclusion, Liz Cedillo-Pereira, and a brief overview of the 2021 Equity Indicators update from Interim Director of Research & Data, Eva De Luna Castro with Every Texan.
A roundtable discussion with Policymakers and two diverse panels set the stage for the sense of urgency around equity measurements. Panelists included private, public, and non-profit perspectives from 12 prominent and diverse local leaders and community organizers including: President of Paul Quinn College, Michael Sorrell, Deputy Superintendent for Leading and Learning Susana Cordova, Councilmember Jaynie Schultz – District 11 and Chair of Workforce, Education and Equity, and more.
The roundtable discussion with Policymakers also highlighted: the importance of racial equity being institutionalized, how data from the equity indicators is used to inform policies, and the role of policy in the sustainability of racial equity.
“The City of Dallas is committed to Racial Equity, and we want our business, philanthropic, and faith-based community to walk in lockstep with us in this work.” said District 3 Councilmember and Vice Chair of Workforce, Education and Equity Committee, Casey Thomas II.
The first panel, Establishing Equity Driven Performance Measures, explored the importance of data in developing equity measures with critical components, such as: naming specific communities, having baseline data, and community friendly goals. Additionally, the panel discussed how large institutions such as school districts and municipalities must have an internal and external push.
“It is important to keep the conversation around institutional and structural change,” said City of Dallas Equity Officer, Dr. Lindsey Wilson. “When we are talking about establishing equity driven measures, we are actually talking about what we (government) need to change internally so that we can close the disparities,” said Wilson.
The last panel, Accountability as a Key Cornerstone to Racial Equity, addressed what the city can do to be accountable for equity measures, build community partners, and the role of leadership and investments.
“We cannot love our way to equity, we have to hold people accountable” said Dallas College Trustee of District 6, Diana Flores. “We have to put programs and initiatives in place to build a cultural climate for racial and ethnic equity to thrive,” said Flores.
To conclude the third Annual Equity Indicators Symposium, Dr. Lindsey Wilson and Managing Partner of CoSpero Consulting, Harold Hogue, discussed the City’s current work in developing the first citywide Racial Equity Plan.
To add your voice and be involved throughout the development of the Racial Equity Plan that is led by the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with CoSpero Consulting, visit WeAreOneDallas.org.
To learn more about the panelists and their contributions, view the attached pamphlet. To view more on equity measurements and accountability, watch the recorded Equity Symposium panels below:
For more information or questions, email [email protected]