Boston Resilience and Racial Equity Strategy

Policy Type Executive Order
Policy Jurisdiction Local — Boston, MA
Status Passed
Tags JEDI, Racial Justice

Policy Summary

This Executive Order strengthens the City of Boston’s commitment to enhancing the city’s collective resilience by advancing racial equity, prioritizing social justice and strengthening social cohesion across all city agencies. The Executive Order requires all city departments to proactively engage in a Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) Training Program, including data collection and evaluation of how racial equity is being advanced across departments. Additionally, departments will be required to develop individual plans and goals for resilience, racial equity, and social justice.

This work will be done in collaboration with the  Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity (MORRE), an office established by Mayor Walsh in 2015 that is tasked with leading citywide efforts to help Boston plan for and overcome racial and economic equality.

“To create citywide resilience, Boston must continue its work across all communities, including within our own city government, institutionalizing racial equity in our workplaces and practices,” said Mayor Walsh.

“Local government has the responsibility and capacity to address issues of racial equity and close racial disparities”.

“We know that communities of color constitute 53 percent of Boston, and we are conscious of the role that the city needs to play in elevating those communities” said Lori Nelson, Chief Resilience Officer. “The City of Boston is committed to working with community members, leaders, organizations, and institutions to create effective programs and practices that work to advance racial equity and strengthen social cohesion across every city agency.”

In 2017, Mayor Walsh released Boston’s first citywide Resilience Strategy. Boston’s Resilience Strategy is focused on ensuring every resident can reach their full potential regardless of their background, and removing the barriers of systemic racism that hinder Bostonians from having access to opportunities.

Under the Executive Order, city cabinets, departments, offices, and agencies will participate in educational trainings to help support the development of tools to facilitate execution of the order.

This will focus on:

  1. Understanding systemic and institutional racism, implicit/unconscious bias, racial equity framing and community engagement strategies;
  2. Personal and institutional roles and responsibilities for achieving racial equity;
  3. Developing plans and goals for resilience, racial equity, and social justice;
  4. Application of a racial equity framing to identify the impacts of City policies, practices, attitudes, and culture on racial equity and social justice and adoption and normalization of the consideration of racial equity data relative to the status of the most marginalized residents into policies, practices, attitudes, and culture.

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