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Contact Information

Contact Information

Faith Jackson

Racial Equity Coordinator

Office of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging


Our History

Racial equity is the pursuit of fairness and justice in policy, programs, and practices so racial inequities are eliminated. The City of Bloomington is committed to investigating how longstanding systems, policies, and practices create and sustain racial disparities in our communities.

The City's commitment to racial equity and inclusion is longstanding and has evolved over the years. The city has been making efforts to focus on equity going back to 2015 when the city participated in the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE) convening. The GARE convening was sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities, and it included several other cities from around the state that were interested in advancing the work of equity in their organizations and community. 

In December of 2017, the City Council adopted a Racial Equity Vision Statement that reads: "The City of Bloomington will act courageously to advance racial equity. We will be a vibrant, safe, and healthy place where people of all races thrive." Later that year the city adopted equity and inclusion as strategic priorities. Faith Jackson was hired as the city’s first-ever racial equity coordinator in 2019 and the city adopted the Racial Equity Business Plan (REBP) in 2020. The racial equity business plan charts the path for an expansion of the City's racial equity work in the years to come. The racial equity business plan identifies goals and outcomes in four distinct areas: 

  • Hiring (workforce mirrors the community we serve)
  • Training (assortment of training that develops racial equity as a competency)
  • Services (equitable outcomes in the design and delivery of services)
  • Community engagement (authentically engage community in the design and implementation of city projects) 

One point from the plan was the creation of racial equity action teams (REATs) in each of the divisions of the city. REATs are staff-led teams that provide accountability and capacity-building to ensure staff has a shared understanding of why we lead with race, how we advance the work, and how we measure success.  

The City Council also declared racism a public health crisis in 2021.  Thereafter, the City empaneled a Racial Equity Strategic Planning Committee (RESPC) to identify the most impactful policies and practices the City, in collaboration with partners, would work on to begin reducing racial disparities in key areas including, economic stability, education, health and health care, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community. The RESPC proposed investing in public health, supporting small businesses by developing a business resource center, developing new homeownership initiatives, expanding public safety mental health services, and more collaboration with the school district. The City Council unanimously approved the proposal. 

Additional staff was hied in 2022 to help support the implementation of the RESPC and REBP. City established the Office of Racial Equity Inclusion and Belonging to solidify ongoing efforts and ensure this work is sustainable.  

Our Approach

We strive to use an intersectional approach to transform historic power dynamics for accountable systemic change based on the principles of equity, inclusion and belonging.

Bloomington prioritizes anti-racist equity strategies, with the recognition that the creation and perpetuation of racial inequities has been baked into government and that racial inequities across all indicators for success are deep and pervasive.

Nevertheless, we are committed to understanding and addressing the complex, cumulative manner in in which the effect of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect.

Venn diagram

Pictured: A Venn diagram showing how intersectionality is at the center of:

  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Class
  • Nationality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Abilities

Image courtesy of First Book

Our Work

  • We are change agents who help staff identify and remove structural bias and inequities in city policies, programs and services.
  • We create, lead, manage, and support systems change throughout the organization to ensure equity, inclusion, and belonging is emphasized.
  • We organize the work of the REBP and RESPC and creates process for embedding racial equity throughout the organization.
  • We respond to the community based strategic planning core values and strategies, and the action plans to follow.

Racial Equity Business Plan

In October, 2020, the City Council unanimously adopted its first Racial Equity Business Plan. This plan is an evolving document to guide the City's racial equity work. It was developed by the Racial Equity Coordinator in collaboration with the City's Executive Leadership Team.

The plan captures ongoing equity and inclusion priorities from the Council's Strategic Plan. It provides goals, strategies, and performance measures that will move the work forward. 

Full text of the Racial Equity Business Plan