What is equitable community engagement?
From the Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint: Community engagement alone is not enough. It needs to be equitable. For engagement to be equitable, it must aim for participation from a group representative of a community’s geography, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and other demographic characteristics. It must place specific emphasis on those who will be most adversely impacted by the project and those who are most often marginalized in these conversations.
In our work under ENGAGEDurham and with the Comprehensive Plan we are committed to equitable engagement and anti-racist action.
The City of Durham strives to be a welcoming, diverse and innovative community. Equity and resident engagement are key components of the City’s FY2019-2021 Strategic Plan, which includes Advance a More Inclusive and Equitable Durham, Shared Economic Prosperity, and the Language Access Plan.
How will the Comprehensive Plan carry out equitable community engagement?
The Comprehensive Planning Team is working to develop new engagement methods that prioritize racial equity and ensuring that those who have been historically excluded from decision-making have a voice. The plan is informed by the City’s Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint, created by the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department (NIS).
The blueprint prescribes intentional engagement methodologies and procedures to ensure historically underrepresented communities are included in the City’s planning and decision-making processes. The Blueprint includes recommendations for prioritizing the expenditure of engagement resources in underrepresented communities, specifically residents that will be most impacted by City initiatives. The goal of this Blueprint is measurable equitable engagement, increased awareness of City initiatives, minimized adverse effects and maximized benefits for low-wealth communities and communities of color. A primary way we have worked towards more equitable engagement has been through the Engagement Ambassador Program, which centers input coming through the Engagement Ambassadors’ community engagement in the Comprehensive Plan.