Realizing Arlington’s Commitment to Equity

R.A.C.E. Logo

Racial inequity affects our present-day lives, but just as importantly, our future. In September 2019, the County Board adopted an Equity Resolution. To further this commitment to equity, Arlington County Government and Arlington Public Schools participated in a 10-month racial equity cohort program convened by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in partnership with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, specifically identifying racial equity as a priority. This means closing race-based outcome gaps so race does not predict one’s success while improving outcomes for everyone; moving beyond services to focus on policies, institutions and structures. The County puts forward the below framework for a Racial Equity Action Plan to be developed with the community and organization. 

VIDEO: Watch an update from July 2021 about the latest on the County’s equity efforts — and a framework for going forward.

ANNUAL REPORT: Advancing Racial Equity in Government (August 2021) 

Vision

An equitable Arlington is one where all are valued, educated, healthy and safe regardless of race.

Mission

As an employee, resident or business in Arlington, advance racial equity as a county-wide priority to eliminate, reduce, and prevent disparities in our policies, procedures practices, engagement, and interaction with and service to the community.

Framework for a Racial Equity Action Plan

Normalize

A shared understanding, knowledge and terminology around racial equity within the organization and among the community.

Racial equity is accepted as an imperative and priority throughout the organization and within the community.

Organize

A sustainable and supported structure to advance racial equity to include personnel and resources that become a defined and integral component of the organization and the system.

Build the capacity of the organization and within the community and commit and dedicate resources to support identified areas of need.

Operationalize

Racial equity is a matter of principle in developing and considering the impact policies, plans, and decisions have on all residents as well as employees.

Use the racial equity lens, tools and disaggregated data to identify where systemic and institutional racism presents itself and make the changes needed to dismantle it.

Assess

Every employee, resident and person who interacts with the County sees themselves in the work, the process, the system and structure.

Evaluate where we are, what we have done and how we are doing; what things do we need to change, adjust and how we evolve overtime to respond to changes in the workforce, culture, and community.

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New Demographic Data Dashboards

Race and Ethnicity Dashboard
Race and Ethnicity Dashboard

The County has released two new dashboards (Race and Ethnicity Dashboard and Census Tract Demographic Dashboard) that organize Arlington’s demographic data at the countywide and subcounty levels, and provides a ways to visualized demographic variances among race and ethnicities and geographic distribution.

Tools like data dashboards are resources that community members and County staff can use to begin operationalizing racial equity efforts.

Race and History Timelines

Acknowledging the racialized origins and policies of United States history is fundamental for communities to gain knowledge and understanding of racial equity. The following timelines document key historical events in Arlington County related to housing, education, community facilities, public safety, transportation, urban planning, public infrastructure, and more. Learn more or check out the timelines below.

1930-1945

1946-1960

Help Build Dialogue

Addressing race and equity are large societal issues that require all of us — residents, government, businesses, nonprofits, faith partners, and community organizations — to come together to identify gaps and opportunities for change. These dialogues are an important piece of normalizing  conversations around race and equity.

  • DRE in Our Neighborhood Toolkits: These toolkits are self-guided programs that can be used to spark conversations between community members on bias, equity and privilege
  • DRE Together Partner ToolkitExplore many tools that you can use to help promote conversations on race and equity in your community.

Tools and Resources