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Planning and Implementing

This section focuses on designing a strategy to address a racial equity goal (planning), and on putting that plan into action (implementation). An effective plan to create racial equity balances several needs. It includes your best understanding of all of the steps to achieve your vision - those that are necessary and sufficient. When possible, your strategies are based on experience and research. At the same time, an effective plan to address racial equity allows considerable flexibility for innovation and trial and error. This is because, as a society, we really do not know what it will take to create equity for racial groups on most issues we care about (education, income, wealth, life expectancy and so on) because we have never done so.

Plans that inspire people also deliberately incorporate strategies that are likely to lead to quick successes -- so-called "low hanging fruit." These keep people motivated and prove you can get things done. At the same time, the plan factors in long-term and sustained effort to move past roadblocks and resistance, and get you to your goals. These reflect your best understanding of how long it might take to make a genuine difference on outcomes for groups of people at a level that can be felt by them - meaningful change that can be sustained over time even in the face of declining outside interest by the groups originally supportive of the goal, as their attention turns elsewhere.

A great plan will also include standards and benchmarks that provide guidance and incentives to implement the plan at high quality.

The resources, tools and tips in this section are intended to help your group do effective planning and high quality implementation of your strategies to reach racial equity goals, using processes that consider privilege, racism and power. The content will be most helpful to groups who have a clear vision or goal for the changes they want and a collective understanding of how their work is expected to contribute to that vision or goal. In addition, this section will be most helpful to groups who have an understanding of privilege, structural and other levels of racism and how they are related to their vision and might affect their work. Thus, the conceptual sections of this Web site and resources in the assessment section are also useful at this stage.

There are also some particular things to consider in this phase of work, particularly when planning and implementing actions to achieve racial equity or social justice goals. These are not always discussed in standard planning and action resources and tools. Several of the resources and tools for this section are explicit about these issues (viewing planning and implementation through a racialized lens), but not all of them. You may want to read the tip sheet Reviewing Resources to add a racial analysis.

Some guiding questions include:

  • Do we know which steps are in our control? What steps we can influence only indirectly?
  • Have we made key connections to people or groups with the power to make the changes we want? Have we made key connections to those who can influence those with the power to make the changes we want (their constituencies, those who can exert pressure from inside or outside)?
  • Are we building on our community's strengths and tying our work to the issues around which our community already has energy and commitment?
  • Are we taking full advantage of our community's cultures and past patterns of making change?
  • What steps are we putting in place to overcome resistance? What steps are we putting in place to move us past changes in leadership?
  • Do we have steps that ensure early "wins" and long-term effort? Do we have a way to keep our vision in front of us - our "eyes on the prize"?
  • Do we know what success would look like, and who says so?

This section provides information about:

Tip Sheets:

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