Race Equity In Child Policy

Race Equity In Child Policy

As the District undergoes a profound demographic shift and booming economy, persistent racial inequities exist among the District’s children. 

DC Action is developing resources and tools to effectively advocate for public investments that improve equity in opportunities and outcomes for children and families of color. 

Despite some positive progress over the years, children of color in the District of Columbia, particularly Black and Latinx children, still have worse outcomes compared to their white peers.

We can address these historical inequities by intentionally providing targeted resources for children living in communities that have faced divestment for decades.


Where DC Stands

  • The Region’s philanthropic community is dedicated to better understanding how structural racism - particularly anti-Black racism - manifests in our region. The group has identified three major areas of focus:
    • Envisioning a Racially Equitable Region
    • Community Engagement
    • Systems & Policy Work                        Washington Grantmakers


  • The DC Council passed an initiative in July 2020 to address racial equity in city government. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5, championed legislation to require Mayor Muriel Bowser to take affirmative steps over the next four years to establish racial equity guidelines for city policies and to establish racial equity training within the D.C. government.                                                        Racial Equity Achieves Results Act of 2019 / [B23-0038]


  • DC Action is working with dedicated partners to challenge the status quo and build policies and practices that correct for disparities and promote broader racial equity.  One of our partners, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, developed the Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide, which DC Action is using to attend to this critical work. 


How We Incorporate A Race Equity Lens Into Our Children’s Policy Work

Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide, Annie E. Casey Foundation


1. Establish An Understanding of Race Equity as it Relates to Children’s Policy

Building a proactive framework for addressing issues of race begins with having a clear understanding and vision of racial equity and inclusion. 

2. Engage Communities of Color Most Affected by the Inequities into Our Work

One of the impacts of systemic racial inequities is the exclusion of people of color from many avenues of decision making, civic participation, and power.

3. Conduct Systems Analysis

To effectively challenge systemic discrimination, we need to analyze systems in order to make informed and strategic decisions about how to interrupt and change inequitable patterns.

4. Disaggregate Data

Advancing race equity for DC’s children and youth requires data. Typically, data are reported for whole populations or as aggregates. But, in order to really understand how populations are responding to policy decisions and systems coordination, the data should be broken apart by race, gender and other demographic variables. This is what we call disaggregating data. 

5. Identify Strategies to Address the Root Causes of Inequities

Establish a framework in which we can effectively promote policies and operationalize systems that move all groups of children and youth toward the universal policy goal.

6. Conduct Race Equity Impact Assessments on all Policies Affecting DC’s Children and Youth

A racial equity impact assessment is a systematic examination of how a proposed action or decision will likely affect different racial and ethnic groups.

7. Continue to Evaluate

Implementing investment strategies that promote policy change, system reform and program delivery are critical to removing barriers and increasing equitable opportunities to populations served. It is also important to consistently assess whether investments are accomplishing intended racial equity goals.


What You Can Do

  • Join us and stay up-to-date on our journey to build policies and practices that correct for disparities and promote broader racial equity.
  • Make a donation to support this on-going, complex, yet critical body of work.




B23-0038 - Racial Equity Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced it requires the Office of Human Rights and the Department of Human Resources to develop and provide racial equity training for District employees. Among other things, It requires the Office of Budget and Planning to design and implement a racial equity tool to aid in eliminating disparities based on race. The Mayor is required to include racial equity-related performance measures in the development of an agency's annual performance plans.


Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

Aims to help organizations advance race equity and eliminate systemic barriers en route to improving the lives of children and families.


Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children

How children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels.


It’s Time to Talk: How to Start Conversations About Racial Inequities: A Race for Results Case Study

This report tells how KIDS COUNT advocates in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Washington used solid data, leadership and citizen engagement to spur race-based legislation and community change. It is the first installment in the five-part Race for Results Case Study series, which explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity in America.