The City of Calgary contracted Ernst & Young (EY) as external consultants to review and assess the internal organization through a racial equity lens. This work includes reviewing The City’s internal practices, policies, and services and engaging with City leaders and employees to collect data and gain a baseline understanding of racial equity readiness. The data gathering will establish a baseline of the organization’s racial equity awareness, leadership’s readiness to lead this work, and a current state view of racism within the organization. From June through to September 2021, the City will engage staff through a survey, one-on-one interviews, and focus group sessions for leaders, management, and staff. Employees will have an opportunity to inform a racial equity assessment based on their lived experiences and provide a richness of qualitative context to complement the quantitative data.
The level of organizational and leadership readiness will inform the development of an anti-racism framework. The City will use the framework to conduct an anti-racism organizational assessment. EY will then build a detailed implementation plan that will outline the sequence of activities to address the recommendations and track accountabilities. The implementation plan will include a high-level change management plan.
EY will also transfer knowledge to identified stakeholders through training on the anti-racism framework and tools. EY will deliver a summary report consolidating all findings following the engagement.
This organizational stream of the anti-racism program will form part of the City’s overall anti-racism strategy and implementation plan. The external consultants, the Anti-Racism Action committee, and City staff will integrate the strategies and actions identified through the community engagement, organizational engagement, and public safety streams of work into the Anti-Racism Action Plan. The plan will focus on addressing systemic barriers to accessing City information, programs, and services.
Beyond evaluating the City’s internal practices, policies, and services, other efforts are underway to move The City toward becoming an anti-racist organization. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisors for recruitment panels (e.g., General Managers, Green Line Board and other positions)
- Education and Development (Journey to Becoming Anti-Racist Leaders for ELT; various Departments, Business Units and Service Delivery Areas)
- Updated Webpage and employee resources
- Recruitment for HR Learning & Development
- Inclusive Language for job postings
- Lexicon of Language (ex: Glossary of Terms)
- Employee Resource Groups (e.g., co-facilitate anti-racism conversations)
- Knowledge Exchange with Calgary Police Service and Calgary Fire Department’s Anti-Racism Working Group.
Quarterly Report - November 2021
The City of Calgary is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. As part of the endeavour, we have started a high-level organization-wide racial equity assessment to inform the Racial Equity Model and the approach we will take going forward.
Internal Organization Assessment – Elements of Context
An Internal Organization Assessment was conducted to collect relevant insights to inform the Racial Equity Assessment Model development, and tools were tailored to the City’s unique needs and context. The Model is intended to be applied by the City to conduct a more robust, comprehensive racial equity assessment.
Completed activities for the Internal Organization Assessment included:
- The City’s Cultural Assessment and Anti-Racism survey
- Document review
- Leader interviews
- Leader focus groups
- An equitable leader 360 assessment
- Employee focus groups
Quarterly Report - March 2022
The consultants conducted workshops to transfer knowledge of the Racial Equity Assessment Model to a cohort of City staff from the Indigenous Relations Office, Office of Equity Diversity Inclusion and Belonging, Equity Program, and Anti-Racism Program. These staff will be able to conduct assessments as well as help train other City staff to conduct a detailed racial equity assessment of The City’s programs and policies.
Completed activities for the Knowledge Transfer delivery included:
Module 1 introduced the Racial Equity Assessment Model and associated tools. Participants gained a better understanding of the purpose and benefits of the Racial Equity Assessment Model, the Anti-Racism Maturity Model, the seven standards and 32 criteria of the Model, and the scoring guide of the Model. Participants explored each of the seven standards in depth by working through experiential activities, mock scenarios, and group discussions.
Module 2 explored how to conduct the racial equity assessment following the 7-phase process. Participants gained a better understanding of key roles and guiding principles involved in conducting the racial equity assessment. Important change management considerations were shared, including leadership alignment and knowledge transfer. Participants engaged in a presentation exercise, break-out room discussions, and activity workbooks to deepen their understanding of the module content.
In Module 3, a simulated environment was created for participants to conduct a racial equity assessment using the Racial Equity Assessment Model. Participants better understood how to apply the Racial Equity Assessment Model following the step-by-step process of doing a comprehensive racial equity assessment, gathering data, reviewing documents, compiling key findings, evaluating, and making decisions based on their findings. Participants engaged in policy document review and application exercises and discussed their findings.
Module 4 introduced participants to end-user materials. Participants will use their knowledge of the Model to support other City employees to conduct racial equity assessments as part of their daily work.
Debrief session follow-up: Participants offered feedback, insights, and reflections on both the efficacy of the Model and their experience of the Knowledge Transfer sessions. General understanding was that the Model is a comprehensive tool to apply a racial equity and anti-racism lens and language. The Model was also considered to be critical in providing a foundation from which The City can begin developing an anti-racism action plan.