Racial Equity and Social Justice

Achieve racial equity in County service provision and ensure a workforce reflective of the community we serve.

Goal 1, Objective 3

Conduct a baseline assessment by mid-2022 of racial equity awareness and understanding among County staff and develop a process to assess progress annually.

Updated: January 2023

Key Milestone Update

The training consultant is currently completing their assessment of the efficacy of the Core Team’s Racial Equity Learning Program, as well as a countywide assessment regarding the County’s stage in its journey towards racial equity. This will include recommendations to support success. This assessment is expected to be finalized by the middle of December, 2022.

There are also other baselines to be investigated and established in the Organizational Excellence pillar, including tracking progress of recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of BIPOC employees and managers.

The steps to determine the different baselines and assess progress include the following:

  1. Consult with Core Team members and other departments to understand departmental-level baseline opportunities
  2. Investigate assessment services and options, including pricing and scope
  3. Select assessment service

Awareness and understanding of racial equity concepts can be reflected in many ways.

  • The number of people who respond to a survey assessment tool
  • The number of departments who engage in data/demographic analysis so as to create department baseline(s)
  • The number of departments committed to tracking progress on racial equity goals
  • The creation of new data sources
  • Regularity in reporting and assessment

We have largely qualitative survey data regarding the OoE’s Learning Program. We are currently working with Upstream Investments to strengthen the County’s use of Anti-Racist Results Based Accountability to track progress on racial equity goals with our Community Based Organizational Partners, as well as on Departments whose Core Team members participated in the Anti-Racist Results Based Accountability training. 31 Core Team members representing 12 Departments chose to participate in training and implementation of Anti-Racist Results-Based Accountability. Participating departments/agencies include: Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Board of Supervisors (District 3), County Administrator’s Office, Community Development Commission, Child Support Services, Emergency Management, Department of Health Services, Human Resources, Human Services, Probation, Sonoma Water, and the Office of Equity.

Assessments can take the form of staff and leadership surveys or data/demographic analyses. The Office of Equity recommends a staff and leadership survey assessment and a slightly different baseline assessment than identified in this Objective. The Office of Equity recommends assessing people’s experiences with (not their knowledge of) race equity at the County of Sonoma. This assessment will pave a path for a clearer understanding of what is needed to support those best practices and to heal from negative experiences with either race equity trainings and/or conversations.

Coordination and Partnership Update

Organizational Excellence

Goal 2: Increase information sharing and transparency and improve County and community engagement

  • Objective 2: Implement countywide strategies to recruit, hire, develop, promote and retain County employees of color, produce an annual report card assessing progress, and update strategies as needed.

We have a monthly check-in with HR to support their development of a demographic baseline and to track progress.

Goal 3: Become an employer of choice with a diverse workforce that reflects our community, and an employer with a positive work culture that builds engaged and developed employees.

  • Objective 2: Conduct an employee engagement survey by mid-2022, and based on survey data, develop and implement strategies to incorporate survey outcomes into future operational planning.
  • Objective 3: Support employee professional growth and retention by investing in high quality training, development, and leadership programs.

These goals also refer to employee survey and assessment tools to support the development of strategies and programs to support engagement in countywide training and professional development efforts.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

This goal focuses on internal County culture, and its success will be seen and felt in the way the County and its staff engages with underserved and underrepresented constituents.

Funding Narrative

A countywide assessment tool or service is not currently funded, and is likely not a one-time expenditure. The “evergreen” or living nature of the assessment tool acknowledges the ways in which an assessment would need to grow and change to meet the changing status of the work.

Currently, the Office of Equity is supported through the General Fund, and we have no capacity to seek external funding at this time.

We have one Core Team member from the HR department. With the ARPA data analyst, we will have some limited-term support to begin gathering and analyzing existing internal and external County data. Over the long term, we are currently without staff support to fully implement this plan.