County Resources on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • County Resources on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Basic page

    County Resources on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    Counties play a critical role in building vibrant communities for all individuals, often serving as a safety net for low-income and indigent residents and carrying out critical local functions like economic development and public safety oversight. To ensure all residents have what they need to achieve their fullest potential - including employment opportunity and access to health care, nutritious food and affordable housing - county leaders are taking actions to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into county operations.

    Through county declarations, leaders are calling attention to injustice and articulating how injustice produces poor outcomes in minority populations and to economic growth, employment, health and well-being throughout the county. Their resolutions describe steps the county will take to study and solve these challenges. Some counties are establishing diverse teams to lead planning efforts and initiatives to promote shared decision making.

    As every county is unique, there is no common solution to achieving a more inclusive society; but by valuing diversity of thought and taking practical steps toward systematic inclusion, county leaders are building solutions to improve outcomes and strengthen America's counties. NACo researchers are adding new examples weekly. Join the conversation by sharing your county's efforts using the survey button at the top of the page.

    County Declarations

    • Learn More

    County Committees and Initiatives

    • Learn More

    Webinars & Additional Resources

    • Learn More

    County Declarations

    On May 20, 2019, Milwaukee County became the first county in the country to declare racism a public health crisis. Citing the City of Milwaukee’s highly segregated structure and resultant health disparities among its racial populations, Milwaukee County resolved to assess internal policy and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element, increase diversity across the county workforce and leadership, advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis. Since then, at least 50 counties have developed and passed their own resolutions to formally express the county lawmaking body’s opinion on the issue and articulate intent to take specific actions.

    California

    • Los Angeles County: On July 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an antiracist policy agenda directing immediate action to develop a strategic plan, evaluate existing policies and commission an annual report on the State of Black Los Angeles County.
    • San Bernardino County: On June 23, San Bernardino County resolved to actively participate in the dismantling of racism and identified nine key actions, including “studying and evaluating existing County policies and practices through a lens of racial equity and [to] support policies that prioritize health in an equitable way.”
    • Santa Clara County: On June 23, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Santa Clara County.
    • Santa Cruz County: On August 18, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting society and will assess internal policies and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element of the County. The resolution includes 11 actions, such as promoting community engagement, training all elected officials and staff on racial biases in the workplace and how to mitigate them, and securing resources to accomplish their goals.
    • Riverside County: On August 4, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis and to actively seek to increase diversity across the County workforce and in leadership positions. The Board further pledged to support the creation of a Riverside County task force and develop initiatives and programs to fight systemic racism and implicit bias in all aspects of community life.
    • Yolo County: On July 21, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors affirmed that racism creates health inequities and resolved to endeavor to erase the damage of racism by ensuring meaningful progress in improving inequalities in physical and mental health, education, employment, public safety, the judicial system and housing.

    Colorado

    • Denver County: On June 8, the Council of the City and County of Denver proclaimed acknowledgement that the effects of intergenerational racism are a public health crisis and to support agency work plans to address and correct embedded policies that discriminate and perpetuate racism.
    • Jefferson County: On June 16, the Jefferson County Board of Health resolved to request Jefferson County Public Health to assess internal policies, develop policy platforms that address systemic racism, and enhance data collection and analyses that produce a justice-informed community health improvement plan.

    Florida

    • Hillsborough County: On September 16, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting the County and identified 10 key actions for enhancing equity and diversity, including continuing to advocate locally and through NACo for relevant policies that improve health in Black communities.

    Georgia

    • Dekalb County: On June 15, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. Under this resolution, the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Commissioners has committed to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization and support, promote and advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color. The Governing Authority will also assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

    Illinois

    • Cook County: On July 25, 2019, the Cook County Board of Commissioners resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Cook County to include recommending “solutions to overcome racism.”

    Indiana

    • Marion County: On June 8, the City County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County resolved to proactively engage in the dismantling of racism and identified seven core actions, including a call to all city and county elected officials and departments “to continue, with urgency, the review of policies and procedures for the purposes of eradicating implicit and explicit racial bias and develop instead policies and procedures that build racial equity.”
    • St. Joseph County: On July 15, the St. Joseph County Board of Health resolved to engage in frank and open discussions of race and the impact of board decisions on racial inequities and seek greater diversity in board membership. The resolution also commits the board to holding the County’s Department of Health accountable through tangible actions, including using data to identify and reduce health disparities and recruit, hire and deploy community health workers of color with “lived experience” to strengthen relationships between the Department and the communities it serves.

    Maryland

    • Anne Arundel County: In November 2019, County Executive Steuart Pittman’s administration declared its plan to treat racism as a public health issue to include “establishing mechanisms to research and better understand racism and discrimination in the county.”
    • Montgomery County: On June 16, the Montgomery County Council passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. Through this declaration, the council has committed to becoming an equity and justice-oriented organization dedicated to understanding the impacts of racism in its past work and promoting racial equity and social justice through advocacy and policy.

    Michigan

    • Genesee County: On June 10, the Genesee County Board of Commissioners branded racism as a public health crisis. The Board of Commissioners joined the Genesee County Health Board in its public health declaration and pledged that the county health department will pursue policies targeted at improving health in the Black community and other communities of color.
    • Ingham County: On June 9, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis in the county. Through this resolution, the county is recommitting its full attention to addressing the quality of life and health for Black Ingraham County residents by advocating for policies that improve health in the Black community and assessing current and proposed laws and policies to promote health for people of color within the county.
    • Kalamazoo County: On June 16, the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners resolved to recommit its “full attention to improving the quality of life and health of Black Kalamazoo residents” through policy advocacy and the assessment of current and proposed laws and practices.
    • Washtenaw County: On July 1, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. The resolution makes the Commission responsible for enacting policies that include increasing the budget for the Public Health Department and Office of Racial Equity, setting and reviewing the county budget through a racial equity frame, increasing the number of Community Advisory Board for Law Enforcement (CABLE) members and working with the Sheriff’s Office to ensure an anti-racist and holistic approach to public safety.
    • Wayne County: On July 2, the Wayne County Commission adopted a resolution decrying racism as a public health crisis. The county’s adopted resolution outlines plans that will help bring change to the county, including enhancing diversity, upholding anti-racism principles and encouraging ongoing racial equality training for employees, partners and contractors.

    Minnesota

    • Hennepin County: On June 23, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners declared racism as a public health crisis that affects all of Hennepin County. As a part of its resolution, the County Board has directed the Hennepin County Administration to develop an implementation timeline for actions that will be taken by the county that will address health-related disparities and outcomes in the county.
    • Olmsted County: On August 4, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners recognized that inequity associated with race and racism is a public health issue; they further resolved to direct the Olmsted County Public Health Services Advisory Board and the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission to jointly study and investigate this issue with special emphasis on the services the County provides.

    North Carolina

    • Buncombe County: On June 26, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Board adopted a resolution committing to 10 key actions in advancing racial equity, which include supporting and championing all policies that promote the health of people of color by mitigating exposure to adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma and partnering and building alliances with local organizations that have a history of confronting racism.
    • Durham County: On June 8, the Durham Board of County Commissioners resolved to work towards achieving racial equity, including working “to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, with the Board of Commissioners and its staff leadership continuing to identify specific activities to further enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across Board of Commissioners leadership, staffing and contracting.”
    • Mecklenburg County: On June 16, Mecklenburg County resolved to treat racism with the “urgency and funding of a public health crisis.” The county will seek to “promote racial equity through policies approved by the Board of Commissioners and will encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis as well.”

    • New Hanover County: On July 13, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that declares racism as a public health crisis. The resolution calls on county officials to research, analyze and make meaningful changes to dismantle systemic racism. Additionally, the county will promote racial equity through policies approved by the Board of Commissioners.
    • Pitt County: On August 3, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners resolved to acknowledge that racism can form the basis for a public health crisis affecting the entire Pitt County and should be treated with the urgency and funding of a public health crisis. The Board encourages other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis as well.
    • Wake County: On July 6, the Wake County Board of Supervisors resolved to recognize the integral role of racism in the founding of our country and in large health disparities in the county today. The county committed to promoting policies as a board that focus on diversity, inclusion and equity and encouraged other government entities to follow suit.

    Nebraska

    • Douglas County: On June 17, the Douglas County Board of Health declared that racism has resulted in a “health divide” with increased premature death rates, infant mortality rates and other overwhelmingly negative consequences in communities of color. The county committed to establishing an Office of Health Equity and Racial Justice, supporting policies that prioritize the health of communities of color and reassessing internal policies and procedures through a lens of inclusivity and health equity.
    • Lancaster County: On September 8, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health resolved that the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will ensure the consistent collection, analysis and reporting of disaggregated data for all public health efforts with data visualization and description of said data.

    Ohio

    • Franklin County: On May 19, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners declared their commitment to identifying opportunities to work to enhance diversity and antiracism principles, advocating for relevant policies and emphasizing racial equity training among staff, leadership, community partners and others.
    • Montgomery County: On June 11, the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners resolved to declare racism a public health crisis, identifying it as a root cause of poor health outcomes and other social determinants. The Board also reaffirmed a number of targeted action items, including directing economic development resources toward minority communities and developing a new “Career and Innovation Center.”
    • Summit County: On June 16, the Summit County Council Committee-of-the-Whole resolved to declare racism a public health crisis and establish this year a Special Review Committee to identify action steps in promoting racial equity in the county.
    • Lorain County: On June 17, the Lorain County commissioners unanimously voted to declare racism a public health crisis and pledged to participate in a joint-county working group, advocate, train and continue to identify steps to reduce the long-term impact of racism on health disparities.
    • Cuyahoga County: On July 7, the Cuyahoga County resolved to commit resources in all areas of its government to address racism and its resulting disparities and request a status report from the County Equity Commission and County Citizens Advisory Council by the end of the year.
    • Hamilton County: On July 16, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners resolved to declare racism a public health crisis and outline tangible next steps including engagement with racial justice work, examination of current institutions including health and providing implicit bias training to officers through the county sheriff’s office.

    Pennsylvania

    • Allegheny County: On May 5, the Allegheny County Council recognized racism as a public health crisis and committed itself to building partnerships with entities confronting racism and continuing to create internal policies and assessments focused on race equity.
    • Erie County: On September 8, the Erie County Council resolved to commit to openly and honestly address racism to eliminate disparity in healthcare, healthy food, safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs and business ownership opportunities, quality transportation, educational opportunities and safe places to be active.

    Tennessee

    • Shelby County: On June 23, the Shelby County commissioners recognized racism as a pandemic, aligning themselves with the chief executive officers of three of Tennessee’s largest hospitals, and committed their body to enacting policies that will strive to eradicate the effects of systemic racism against Black people.

    Texas

    • Dallas County: On June 16, the Dallas County Commissioners Court affirmed their dedication to promote equity through policy, advocacy and community partnerships and committed to instituting racial equity training among Court leadership and staff.
    • Harris County: On June 30, the Harris County commissioners declared racism a public health crisis and resolves to develop policies, programs and services aimed at dismantling systemic racism, develop strong partnerships with organizations and residents impacted by racism to dismantle racism and protect the health and well-being of its residents and ensure complete and regular availability of race and ethnicity data to document racial and ethnic inequities and reach sustainable solutions.

    Washington

    • Spokane County: On August 6, the Spokane Regional Health District’s Board of Health resolved that the District will lead, engage and call-to-action the community, partners and other local jurisdictions in strategic partnerships to develop and implement policies to eliminate health inequities in the Spokane region. Specifically, the District will provide institutional means for those most impacted by racism to participate in decision-making on policies, programs, services and interventions.

    • Tacoma‐Pierce County: On June 17, the Tacoma‐Pierce County board of health passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and directing the health department to take specific actions including assess internal policies and procedures to address and reform structures that contribute to race; reshape our discourse to actively engage in anti‐racist work; review their budget and make recommendations for funding changes, allocations or re‐allocations that fund the work of transforming systemic racism; partner with community to co‐create solutions; and promote policy and system level changes to move beyond equity only and undo racist structures.
    • King County: On June 16, the Board of Health of King County declared racism a public health crisis and commits to revising its guiding documents and its policies with a racial justice and equity lens including the Board of Health Code and annual workplan and to ongoing work around race and equity such as participating in racial equity training and engaging and being responsive to communities and residents impacted by racism.

    Wisconsin

    • Dane County: On July 9, the Dane County Board passed a resolution recognizing racism as a public health crisis and committing to continue to implement equitable and anti-racist policies and practices to create a justice- and equity-oriented county and society.
    • Eau Claire County: On July 22, the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution recognizing racism as a public health crisis in Eau Claire County and supporting action steps to collaborate with partners within the county and surrounding area to respond to the crisis.
    • Kenosha County: On August 4, the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Kenosha County. The resolution includes six key actions, including providing tools to assist employees to engage actively and authentically with communities of color and supporting local, state and federal initiatives that advance social justice.

    • Milwaukee County: On May 20, 2019, Milwaukee County became the first county in the country to declare racism as a public health crisis. Citing the City of Milwaukee’s highly segregated structure and resultant health disparities among its racial populations, Milwaukee County resolved to assesses internal policy and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element, increase diversity across the county workforce and leadership, advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.
    • Rock County: On June 25, the Rock County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis and resolving to advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, eliminate health and opportunity gaps along racial lines and increase the success of all groups by distributing resources justly across all communities.

    County Committees and Initiatives

    Related to declarations of intent, many counties are formulating committees and initiatives to study county policies and practices, enhance data collection practices to better understand county demographics and engage in shared decision making. Some counties are hiring directors of diversity and equity or establishing offices of diversity to lead or support their efforts.

    Clackamas County, Oregon

    In 2012, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners approved a Resolution Valuing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this resolution, they affirmed support for forming several advisory councils, including the employee-led Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC) that provides guidance to county administration and the Board of County Commissioners on removing barriers to access, opportunities and fair representation

    Baltimore County, Maryland

    On December 10, 2019, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued an Executive Order creating a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Advisory Council and Community Advisory Council, both aimed at advancing equity and inclusion in Baltimore County and ensuring the County government consistently applies an equity lens to its decision-making. The Councils will advise and work collaboratively with the County’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer on workplace/community diversity, inclusion and equity issues, such as employee training and community education, and assist in the planning of related workplace/community initiatives and events.

    Dakota County, Minnesota

    To help achieve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Dakota County’s employee relations division established six Employee Resource Groups, which are voluntary and employee-led professional networks for employees who share a common identity or background or are an ally to the group. The Resource Groups offer professional development and networking opportunities and help the organization with planning and community connection.

    Multnomah County, Oregon

    The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is the hub for Multnomah County’s diversity and equity initiatives. ODE’s mission is to ensure access, equity, and inclusion in Multnomah County’s services, policies, practices, and procedures. Through its Workforce Equity Initiative, county employees have worked together to develop and implement a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan to identify and address structural and policy barriers to providing equal employment opportunities and develop a strategic plan to help create a workplace where everyone can reach their full potential.

    Ottawa County, Michigan

    The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners established the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in December 2018. The DEI office leads the development of an equity plan and intends to provide assistance to local units of government with similar objectives.

    Washington County, Maryland

    In 2018, Washington County established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee comprised of community members who apply and are appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The group meets monthly and advises the Board of Commissioners on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Washington County, Oregon

    In 2018, the Washington County Administrative Office convened a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) “Think Tank” tasked with providing direction for the county’s DEI priorities and strategies related to human resources and procurement. The DEI Think Tank produced several recommendations, which were accepted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on March 19, 2019. Following the recommendations of the Think Tank and others, Washington County launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative focused on operationalizing racial equity across the County. On February 25, 2020, Washington County commissioners acknowledged the value of the Think Tank and initiative and resolved to create the County Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, housed in the County Administrative Office, and create a Chief Equity Officer position to report to the County Administrator. These leadership positions along with county hiring and procurement policies underscore their efforts to foster equity and inclusion in the county’s programs, practices and policies.

     

    NACo aims to uplift county actions that strive to diminish inequity and amplify local approaches that lead to improved outcomes for all residents regardless of their race, in furtherance of the organization’s mission of strengthening America’s counties.  
    2020-07-28
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    2020-10-01

Join the conversation: Share your county’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

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Counties play a critical role in building vibrant communities for all individuals, often serving as a safety net for low-income and indigent residents and carrying out critical local functions like economic development and public safety oversight. To ensure all residents have what they need to achieve their fullest potential - including employment opportunity and access to health care, nutritious food and affordable housing - county leaders are taking actions to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into county operations.

Through county declarations, leaders are calling attention to injustice and articulating how injustice produces poor outcomes in minority populations and to economic growth, employment, health and well-being throughout the county. Their resolutions describe steps the county will take to study and solve these challenges. Some counties are establishing diverse teams to lead planning efforts and initiatives to promote shared decision making.

As every county is unique, there is no common solution to achieving a more inclusive society; but by valuing diversity of thought and taking practical steps toward systematic inclusion, county leaders are building solutions to improve outcomes and strengthen America's counties. NACo researchers are adding new examples weekly. Join the conversation by sharing your county's efforts using the survey button at the top of the page.

County Declarations

County Committees and Initiatives

Webinars & Additional Resources

County Declarations

On May 20, 2019, Milwaukee County became the first county in the country to declare racism a public health crisis. Citing the City of Milwaukee’s highly segregated structure and resultant health disparities among its racial populations, Milwaukee County resolved to assess internal policy and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element, increase diversity across the county workforce and leadership, advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis. Since then, at least 50 counties have developed and passed their own resolutions to formally express the county lawmaking body’s opinion on the issue and articulate intent to take specific actions.

California

  • Los Angeles County: On July 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an antiracist policy agenda directing immediate action to develop a strategic plan, evaluate existing policies and commission an annual report on the State of Black Los Angeles County.
  • San Bernardino County: On June 23, San Bernardino County resolved to actively participate in the dismantling of racism and identified nine key actions, including “studying and evaluating existing County policies and practices through a lens of racial equity and [to] support policies that prioritize health in an equitable way.”
  • Santa Clara County: On June 23, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Santa Clara County.
  • Santa Cruz County: On August 18, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting society and will assess internal policies and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element of the County. The resolution includes 11 actions, such as promoting community engagement, training all elected officials and staff on racial biases in the workplace and how to mitigate them, and securing resources to accomplish their goals.
  • Riverside County: On August 4, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis and to actively seek to increase diversity across the County workforce and in leadership positions. The Board further pledged to support the creation of a Riverside County task force and develop initiatives and programs to fight systemic racism and implicit bias in all aspects of community life.
  • Yolo County: On July 21, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors affirmed that racism creates health inequities and resolved to endeavor to erase the damage of racism by ensuring meaningful progress in improving inequalities in physical and mental health, education, employment, public safety, the judicial system and housing.

Colorado

  • Denver County: On June 8, the Council of the City and County of Denver proclaimed acknowledgement that the effects of intergenerational racism are a public health crisis and to support agency work plans to address and correct embedded policies that discriminate and perpetuate racism.
  • Jefferson County: On June 16, the Jefferson County Board of Health resolved to request Jefferson County Public Health to assess internal policies, develop policy platforms that address systemic racism, and enhance data collection and analyses that produce a justice-informed community health improvement plan.

Florida

  • Hillsborough County: On September 16, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners resolved to assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting the County and identified 10 key actions for enhancing equity and diversity, including continuing to advocate locally and through NACo for relevant policies that improve health in Black communities.

Georgia

  • Dekalb County: On June 15, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. Under this resolution, the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Commissioners has committed to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization and support, promote and advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color. The Governing Authority will also assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

Illinois

  • Cook County: On July 25, 2019, the Cook County Board of Commissioners resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Cook County to include recommending “solutions to overcome racism.”

Indiana

  • Marion County: On June 8, the City County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County resolved to proactively engage in the dismantling of racism and identified seven core actions, including a call to all city and county elected officials and departments “to continue, with urgency, the review of policies and procedures for the purposes of eradicating implicit and explicit racial bias and develop instead policies and procedures that build racial equity.”
  • St. Joseph County: On July 15, the St. Joseph County Board of Health resolved to engage in frank and open discussions of race and the impact of board decisions on racial inequities and seek greater diversity in board membership. The resolution also commits the board to holding the County’s Department of Health accountable through tangible actions, including using data to identify and reduce health disparities and recruit, hire and deploy community health workers of color with “lived experience” to strengthen relationships between the Department and the communities it serves.

Maryland

  • Anne Arundel County: In November 2019, County Executive Steuart Pittman’s administration declared its plan to treat racism as a public health issue to include “establishing mechanisms to research and better understand racism and discrimination in the county.”
  • Montgomery County: On June 16, the Montgomery County Council passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. Through this declaration, the council has committed to becoming an equity and justice-oriented organization dedicated to understanding the impacts of racism in its past work and promoting racial equity and social justice through advocacy and policy.

Michigan

  • Genesee County: On June 10, the Genesee County Board of Commissioners branded racism as a public health crisis. The Board of Commissioners joined the Genesee County Health Board in its public health declaration and pledged that the county health department will pursue policies targeted at improving health in the Black community and other communities of color.
  • Ingham County: On June 9, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis in the county. Through this resolution, the county is recommitting its full attention to addressing the quality of life and health for Black Ingraham County residents by advocating for policies that improve health in the Black community and assessing current and proposed laws and policies to promote health for people of color within the county.
  • Kalamazoo County: On June 16, the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners resolved to recommit its “full attention to improving the quality of life and health of Black Kalamazoo residents” through policy advocacy and the assessment of current and proposed laws and practices.
  • Washtenaw County: On July 1, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. The resolution makes the Commission responsible for enacting policies that include increasing the budget for the Public Health Department and Office of Racial Equity, setting and reviewing the county budget through a racial equity frame, increasing the number of Community Advisory Board for Law Enforcement (CABLE) members and working with the Sheriff’s Office to ensure an anti-racist and holistic approach to public safety.
  • Wayne County: On July 2, the Wayne County Commission adopted a resolution decrying racism as a public health crisis. The county’s adopted resolution outlines plans that will help bring change to the county, including enhancing diversity, upholding anti-racism principles and encouraging ongoing racial equality training for employees, partners and contractors.

Minnesota

  • Hennepin County: On June 23, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners declared racism as a public health crisis that affects all of Hennepin County. As a part of its resolution, the County Board has directed the Hennepin County Administration to develop an implementation timeline for actions that will be taken by the county that will address health-related disparities and outcomes in the county.
  • Olmsted County: On August 4, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners recognized that inequity associated with race and racism is a public health issue; they further resolved to direct the Olmsted County Public Health Services Advisory Board and the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission to jointly study and investigate this issue with special emphasis on the services the County provides.

North Carolina

  • Buncombe County: On June 26, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Board adopted a resolution committing to 10 key actions in advancing racial equity, which include supporting and championing all policies that promote the health of people of color by mitigating exposure to adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma and partnering and building alliances with local organizations that have a history of confronting racism.
  • Durham County: On June 8, the Durham Board of County Commissioners resolved to work towards achieving racial equity, including working “to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, with the Board of Commissioners and its staff leadership continuing to identify specific activities to further enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across Board of Commissioners leadership, staffing and contracting.”
  • Mecklenburg County: On June 16, Mecklenburg County resolved to treat racism with the “urgency and funding of a public health crisis.” The county will seek to “promote racial equity through policies approved by the Board of Commissioners and will encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis as well.”

  • New Hanover County: On July 13, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that declares racism as a public health crisis. The resolution calls on county officials to research, analyze and make meaningful changes to dismantle systemic racism. Additionally, the county will promote racial equity through policies approved by the Board of Commissioners.
  • Pitt County: On August 3, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners resolved to acknowledge that racism can form the basis for a public health crisis affecting the entire Pitt County and should be treated with the urgency and funding of a public health crisis. The Board encourages other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis as well.
  • Wake County: On July 6, the Wake County Board of Supervisors resolved to recognize the integral role of racism in the founding of our country and in large health disparities in the county today. The county committed to promoting policies as a board that focus on diversity, inclusion and equity and encouraged other government entities to follow suit.

Nebraska

  • Douglas County: On June 17, the Douglas County Board of Health declared that racism has resulted in a “health divide” with increased premature death rates, infant mortality rates and other overwhelmingly negative consequences in communities of color. The county committed to establishing an Office of Health Equity and Racial Justice, supporting policies that prioritize the health of communities of color and reassessing internal policies and procedures through a lens of inclusivity and health equity.
  • Lancaster County: On September 8, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health resolved that the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will ensure the consistent collection, analysis and reporting of disaggregated data for all public health efforts with data visualization and description of said data.

Ohio

  • Franklin County: On May 19, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners declared their commitment to identifying opportunities to work to enhance diversity and antiracism principles, advocating for relevant policies and emphasizing racial equity training among staff, leadership, community partners and others.
  • Montgomery County: On June 11, the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners resolved to declare racism a public health crisis, identifying it as a root cause of poor health outcomes and other social determinants. The Board also reaffirmed a number of targeted action items, including directing economic development resources toward minority communities and developing a new “Career and Innovation Center.”
  • Summit County: On June 16, the Summit County Council Committee-of-the-Whole resolved to declare racism a public health crisis and establish this year a Special Review Committee to identify action steps in promoting racial equity in the county.
  • Lorain County: On June 17, the Lorain County commissioners unanimously voted to declare racism a public health crisis and pledged to participate in a joint-county working group, advocate, train and continue to identify steps to reduce the long-term impact of racism on health disparities.
  • Cuyahoga County: On July 7, the Cuyahoga County resolved to commit resources in all areas of its government to address racism and its resulting disparities and request a status report from the County Equity Commission and County Citizens Advisory Council by the end of the year.
  • Hamilton County: On July 16, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners resolved to declare racism a public health crisis and outline tangible next steps including engagement with racial justice work, examination of current institutions including health and providing implicit bias training to officers through the county sheriff’s office.

Pennsylvania

  • Allegheny County: On May 5, the Allegheny County Council recognized racism as a public health crisis and committed itself to building partnerships with entities confronting racism and continuing to create internal policies and assessments focused on race equity.
  • Erie County: On September 8, the Erie County Council resolved to commit to openly and honestly address racism to eliminate disparity in healthcare, healthy food, safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs and business ownership opportunities, quality transportation, educational opportunities and safe places to be active.

Tennessee

  • Shelby County: On June 23, the Shelby County commissioners recognized racism as a pandemic, aligning themselves with the chief executive officers of three of Tennessee’s largest hospitals, and committed their body to enacting policies that will strive to eradicate the effects of systemic racism against Black people.

Texas

  • Dallas County: On June 16, the Dallas County Commissioners Court affirmed their dedication to promote equity through policy, advocacy and community partnerships and committed to instituting racial equity training among Court leadership and staff.
  • Harris County: On June 30, the Harris County commissioners declared racism a public health crisis and resolves to develop policies, programs and services aimed at dismantling systemic racism, develop strong partnerships with organizations and residents impacted by racism to dismantle racism and protect the health and well-being of its residents and ensure complete and regular availability of race and ethnicity data to document racial and ethnic inequities and reach sustainable solutions.

Washington

  • Spokane County: On August 6, the Spokane Regional Health District’s Board of Health resolved that the District will lead, engage and call-to-action the community, partners and other local jurisdictions in strategic partnerships to develop and implement policies to eliminate health inequities in the Spokane region. Specifically, the District will provide institutional means for those most impacted by racism to participate in decision-making on policies, programs, services and interventions.

  • Tacoma‐Pierce County: On June 17, the Tacoma‐Pierce County board of health passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and directing the health department to take specific actions including assess internal policies and procedures to address and reform structures that contribute to race; reshape our discourse to actively engage in anti‐racist work; review their budget and make recommendations for funding changes, allocations or re‐allocations that fund the work of transforming systemic racism; partner with community to co‐create solutions; and promote policy and system level changes to move beyond equity only and undo racist structures.
  • King County: On June 16, the Board of Health of King County declared racism a public health crisis and commits to revising its guiding documents and its policies with a racial justice and equity lens including the Board of Health Code and annual workplan and to ongoing work around race and equity such as participating in racial equity training and engaging and being responsive to communities and residents impacted by racism.

Wisconsin

  • Dane County: On July 9, the Dane County Board passed a resolution recognizing racism as a public health crisis and committing to continue to implement equitable and anti-racist policies and practices to create a justice- and equity-oriented county and society.
  • Eau Claire County: On July 22, the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution recognizing racism as a public health crisis in Eau Claire County and supporting action steps to collaborate with partners within the county and surrounding area to respond to the crisis.
  • Kenosha County: On August 4, the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors resolved to support efforts to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout Kenosha County. The resolution includes six key actions, including providing tools to assist employees to engage actively and authentically with communities of color and supporting local, state and federal initiatives that advance social justice.

  • Milwaukee County: On May 20, 2019, Milwaukee County became the first county in the country to declare racism as a public health crisis. Citing the City of Milwaukee’s highly segregated structure and resultant health disparities among its racial populations, Milwaukee County resolved to assesses internal policy and procedures to ensure racial equity is a core element, increase diversity across the county workforce and leadership, advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.
  • Rock County: On June 25, the Rock County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis and resolving to advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, eliminate health and opportunity gaps along racial lines and increase the success of all groups by distributing resources justly across all communities.

County Committees and Initiatives

Related to declarations of intent, many counties are formulating committees and initiatives to study county policies and practices, enhance data collection practices to better understand county demographics and engage in shared decision making. Some counties are hiring directors of diversity and equity or establishing offices of diversity to lead or support their efforts.

Clackamas County, Oregon

In 2012, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners approved a Resolution Valuing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this resolution, they affirmed support for forming several advisory councils, including the employee-led Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC) that provides guidance to county administration and the Board of County Commissioners on removing barriers to access, opportunities and fair representation

Baltimore County, Maryland

On December 10, 2019, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued an Executive Order creating a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Advisory Council and Community Advisory Council, both aimed at advancing equity and inclusion in Baltimore County and ensuring the County government consistently applies an equity lens to its decision-making. The Councils will advise and work collaboratively with the County’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer on workplace/community diversity, inclusion and equity issues, such as employee training and community education, and assist in the planning of related workplace/community initiatives and events.

Dakota County, Minnesota

To help achieve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Dakota County’s employee relations division established six Employee Resource Groups, which are voluntary and employee-led professional networks for employees who share a common identity or background or are an ally to the group. The Resource Groups offer professional development and networking opportunities and help the organization with planning and community connection.

Multnomah County, Oregon

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is the hub for Multnomah County’s diversity and equity initiatives. ODE’s mission is to ensure access, equity, and inclusion in Multnomah County’s services, policies, practices, and procedures. Through its Workforce Equity Initiative, county employees have worked together to develop and implement a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan to identify and address structural and policy barriers to providing equal employment opportunities and develop a strategic plan to help create a workplace where everyone can reach their full potential.

Ottawa County, Michigan

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners established the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in December 2018. The DEI office leads the development of an equity plan and intends to provide assistance to local units of government with similar objectives.

Washington County, Maryland

In 2018, Washington County established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee comprised of community members who apply and are appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The group meets monthly and advises the Board of Commissioners on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Washington County, Oregon

In 2018, the Washington County Administrative Office convened a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) “Think Tank” tasked with providing direction for the county’s DEI priorities and strategies related to human resources and procurement. The DEI Think Tank produced several recommendations, which were accepted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on March 19, 2019. Following the recommendations of the Think Tank and others, Washington County launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative focused on operationalizing racial equity across the County. On February 25, 2020, Washington County commissioners acknowledged the value of the Think Tank and initiative and resolved to create the County Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, housed in the County Administrative Office, and create a Chief Equity Officer position to report to the County Administrator. These leadership positions along with county hiring and procurement policies underscore their efforts to foster equity and inclusion in the county’s programs, practices and policies.