The city continues to work on advancing the city council’s strategic priority of being a leader in racial equity and inclusion in order to create a more just and inclusive community for all. In order to do so, the city is working to:
- Create pipelines and opportunities for communities of color and indigenous people to be part of city leadership roles.
- Invest in small business and services owned by people of color and indigenous people.
- Expand racial equity as an ongoing discussion within all areas of city business.
- Build awareness and a learning environment where consequences and unintentional impact of our work and decisions are addressed.
Work with advancing racial equity is a journey that will continue as part of the city's regular business and service delivery. The city council is also working with the human rights commission, multicultural advisory committee and other groups on ideas and direction for continued outreach in advancement of racial equity.
If the practices, programs, services and culture of the city are not fair, inclusive and equitable to all, the potential of the community and those it serves is diminished. From an elected, appointed and staffing perspective, our organization does not mirror the community we serve. We will strive for racial equity by building understanding of the issues in our organization and intentionally and proactively take measures that break down barriers to a just and inclusive community.
In 2016, a team of St. Louis Park City Council members and city staff participated in a year-long program on advancing racial equity. This program was facilitated by the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) along with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), and provided an introduction to the roles, responsibilities and opportunities for government to advance racial equity.
The city participated with the following goals in mind:
- Gain understanding of racial equity.
- Develop a shared racial equity analysis including definitions.
- Analyze policies and practices from a racial equity perspective.
- Strategize with others on how government can advance racial equity.
In January 2018, Alicia Sojourner joined the City of St. Louis Park as its first-ever racial equity manager to help the city on its continued journey in advancing racial equity.
Since 2019, St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano has served as co-vice chair of the National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) council. The REAL initiative serves to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions and build more equitable communities. Through training and online resources, REAL helps NLC members build safe places where people from all racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds thrive socially, economically, academically and physically.
Visit the National League of Cities' website for more information.
General racial equity questions
Racial Equity Manager
Community engagement and outreach questions
Racial Equity and Inclusion Outreach Assistant