The purpose of the Boston-based collaborative action-learning initiative is to enable communities and organizations to co-create policies, programs, and practices for racial equity metrowide.
Over the last decade an increasing number of organizations across sectors have started community-engagement initiatives to enhance the design and application of policies and programs. But these efforts typically aim for community input, not sustained co-creation; and they generally do not address the practices of people and organizations along with policies and programs. Meanwhile, severe racial inequities persist in metro areas nationwide, and they have improved little since the 1970's.
To achieve racial equity goals, we must considerably strengthen collaboration among organizations and communities of color, where residents have historically lacked institutional influence. But this civic aspiration presents a collective "capability gap." While there is growing interest in community-organization engagement, and an array of tools is available, the work is deeply challenging and we all have much to learn.
We are now reaching out to leaders in communities and organizations as well as issue activists, engagement consultants, researchers, funders, and specialists (in areas such as participatory design, community measures, and civic tech) who want to strengthen and scale co-creation initiatives for racial equity in metro areas.