Applying Racial Equity to U.S. Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs - Flipbook - Page 75
f. Given the history of this driving factor,
what aspects of the program might need to
change to reverse these
trends among each racial or ethnic
group? Will these proposed changes have
that inadvertently hurt communities of
color and the areas they live in?
g. Given this history, how might
communities of color respond to the
proposed changes to the driving factors?
Do they support these changes?
Stage 4. The fourth methodology principle is to
empower experts of color to lead this
project and shape the narrative.
a. How are the processes within our
organization empowering experts of color
to lead the conversation without reducing
their role and their work to mere tokenism?
b. Do the time and money allocated
to the project accurately reflect our
organization’s commitment to racial
equity as an important priority?
c. Who are the true decision makers
regarding this project? Were project leads
identified in a process that is racially
equitable? Do experts of color hold real
decision making power or are they merely
consulted for feedback?
d. Are we inviting conversations and
comments from current and former
participants of color in the programs? Are
we unconsciously valuing formal research
or other standard data sources over the
perspectives and recommendations from
people of color who have lived experience
with these topic areas and programs?
In organizations where hiring practices and internal
culture do not yet reflect the racially inclusive
demographics needed for an intentional process such
as the one outlined in this methodology, organizational
boards, management, researchers, and staff are
encouraged to consider the following:
• Perhaps your staff is not racially diverse. Think about
how the overall culture could shift to become more racially
inclusive and equitable. What should be different about
hiring practices, and other practices?
• Perhaps you have a racially diverse staff, but the decision
making process is not racially equitable. Think about how
internal decision making processes could shift to become
more racially inclusive and equitable, perhaps starting with
individual projects. Organizations need to reach a point
where people of each racial/ethnic group affected by the
policy or program are equitably engaged in decision making.
Refer to the racial equity assessment tool linked below for
best practices on racially equitable decision making.1
• Review research on similar issues from experts of color.
Very often, this work has already been done. It may be
on a smaller scale and/or released with less publicity, so
finding it may require using some innovative approaches. In
addition, people of color who live and work in marginalized
communities have great ideas for overcoming the barriers
set up by structural inequalities, ideas that very often prove
to work quite well. We encourage bringing more attention to
these ideas and giving credit to their originators.
• Consult with experts of color as the project takes shape,
especially in its beginning stages to develop a better
understanding of how to frame the narrative and learn
about research and other resources you may otherwise
• Create an advisory board of color whose members are
people who are most impacted by the issues, both those at
the outset and those that emerge as the project proceeds.
This should result in regular gatherings of experts of color,
including experts by virtue of academic research background
and experts by lived experience. The advisory board should
play a key role throughout all stages of the project.
• Review the reasons why certain groups experience
unequal outcomes (refer to the questions under the third
stage) and brainstorm targeted ways that can reverse
these trends. Get thoughts from your advisory group or
consultant(s) of the impact of these innovative ways as well
as the community’s likely response to these changes.
Stage 5. The fifth methodology principle is to
consult with people doing this work.
a. Which organizations could help
us understand how programs are
implemented on the ground?
b. What do participants and staff who work
directly with programs in their community
think is working and not working? Why?
c. Are there additional specific factors or
“Racial Equity Impact Assessment.” Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation
barriers that cause a particular racial or
ethnic group to have poorer outcomes? Is
there anything that was left out of the list
for Stage 3 that should be included for additional research?
d. What ideas do participants, former participants, and/or frontline staff have on things that need to change for
results that are racially equitable?
e. After the recommendations have been prepared, ask people on the ground what they think. Would the
recommendations achieve equal outcomes for people of color? If not, ask them to draw on their experiences as
implementers or participants to suggest changes.
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