Embedding Racial Equity Framework in Youth-Centered Mentorship
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Howard County, Md., MD
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Children and Youth (Best in Category)
The Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity - Equity and Restorative Practice Unit (ERPU) aligned priorities pertaining to racial equity, cultural awareness, and restorative practices to implement an equity-informed and culturally responsive mentorship training program. The ERPU partnered with Ohana Howard County, Inc., a non-profit, youth-centered mentorship organization to create a racial equity mentoring approach and provide an inclusive learning space to bring awareness and exposure to the lived experiences of Black and Brown youth attending the high schools they serve. There has been a concerted effort by the County to understand the consequences of the COVID epidemic and social and emotional stressors impacting students of color and other marginalized populations. The potential benefits of this joint effort were clear: to develop a government and community partnership to address racial disparities and the consequences of the pandemic on youth of color and marginalized populations. This coalition has furthered the reach and impact, promoted racial justice, advanced belonging, equity, and community engagement.