Our Equity Work
Local Government Innovation Award, 2017
In 2017, The City of Saint Paul developed Equity Strategic Action Planning for Neighborhoods to support six of its 17 district councils whose role is to ensure inclusive representation of its residents. In recognition of the challenging racial equity work necessary to achieve this the city brought together a cohort of organizations, staff, community members and an outside advisor. The result is a disciplined approach now guides community work in inclusive ways that reach racial parity in civic decision-making.
The Southeast Community Organization continues to work on finding and implementing practices for engaging ALL of our residents in our work. Historically, certain of our communities have not had a place at the table when decisions about their lives have been made.
2014 - several councils, including SECO, held cross-cultural dialogues to identify action steps each council wanted to take separately, and together, to make our City more inclusive.
2015 - We implemented some of these steps as listed below. We use the dialogue process as a way to build trust and understanding among us.
2016 - SECO developed its new mission, vision and values that focused on racial equity.
2017 - SECO helped lead other district councils in the development of equity plans for each of our organizations. Our equity plan outlines how we will work towards a more equitable organization and neighborhood in the coming years.
2018-2021 - SECO uses the guidelines of the racial equity and strategic plans to advance relationships with community renters.
In 2015 we held dialogues between police and youth of color, between community members and the Parks Dept, and between City Planners and district councils to assure racial equity was central. In 2017 we developed an equity plan for our organization and led other councils as they did also. We won an award for this work.
Our August gathering focuses on the diversity of cultures in our neighborhoods and other gatherings and activities celebrate the history and assets we have to share with each other.
Our Youth programming focuses on engaging young people in taking action around creating the type of neighborhood that serves all our community's needs and desires.