by Ryan Curren
Organizing for Racial Equity Within the Federal Government offers a clear path for federal civil servants who are committed to helping their institutions reach an organizational tipping point. The resource focuses on unifying strategies and structures that facilitate a deep, widespread, and sustained commitment to racial equity across the whole of government. Emerging and leading racial equity practitioners who understand it is important to continually bring more people together and to build staff and organizational capacity for change will find this resource helpful.
The guide introduces multiple actions that can strengthen and grow the influence of our public institutions, so they serve their highest purpose. Federal partners can deploy an inside/outside strategy to create productive tension and accountability. Federal agencies can overcome inertia by building capacity for lasting organizational change. Networking strategies and networked structures across the whole of the federal government are required for long-term change. Last, racial equity practitioners should anticipate resistance; prepare for backlash; and consider it a teachable moment when it occurs.
Organizing our federal government for the work ahead will require incorporating racial equity values in processes, outcomes, and products. Organizing is dependent on growing the number and influence of racial equity practitioners across agencies and offices. Internally, it prioritizes strong relationships as well as a culture of learning. Externally, it restores and maintains public trust based on accountable government relationships with communities most impacted by racial inequities.
Civil servants can organize inside federal institutions. While the leadership and clear expectations of top officials is critical, committed staff, teams, and managers are the engines for long-term change. With this resource, racial equity experts can improve how they reach across functions as well as throughout the hierarchy to support change.