Advancing racial equity requires commitment from both elected leaders and the community. In cities and states across the South, EPU is supporting its partners in their work including engaging elected leaders, sharing resources, creating promising best practices, and providing technical support.
For example, EPU partnered with the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) to bring together community leaders and organizations from key sectors to facilitate an antiracism initiative. The participants gathered bi-monthly to identify initiatives that they can spearhead and then seek buy-in and support from city and county governments. Over the course of eight meetings, participants engaged in presentations, discussions, and activities around Knoxville equity data, models, and initiatives for equity work in other cities, exploration and analysis of the key issues they see in the community, identification and development of work priorities, and areas of focus, and learned from guest speakers on equity challenges in contracting, the upcoming 2022 city disparity study, and drafting equity resolutions.