Racial Equity Workgroup

About the Racial Equity Workgroup

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the recent unrest following the tragic death of George Floyd are not fair nor equitably distributed. Emerging national data shows that vulnerable individuals and groups, including unsheltered, low-income, immigrant, and non-white populations disproportionally experience more negative impacts, and take a longer time to recover from crises.  

The City of Saint Paul through the Racial Equity Work Group is committed to understanding and engaging with all our communities so we can create an inclusive response and recovery plan that addresses not only the immediate health and safety of employees and the people they serve but also the short and long-term social and financial impacts created by school and business closures.  

Download this PowerPoint presentation for an overview of the Racial Equity Work Group’s focus and activities. 

For more information, contact the City’s Chief Equity Officer, Toni Newborn at Toni.Newborn@ci.stpaul.mn.us or call 651-266-6493. 

The City is committed to an equitable response. 

Our number one priority is protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the general public and City employees. In direct response to COVID-19 and recent civil unrest, the City adjusted operations and developed new emergency programs while ensuring we were able to keep focused on our core principles of equity, innovation, and resilience. 

  • Formed a new racial equity workgroup within the Emergency Operations Center to continue to engage communities of color and indigenous communities and to address the COVID-related disparities that are disproportionately impacting our residents. 
  • Reassigned Library and Parks staff to support the school district with meal distribution and pick up sites. 
  • Staffed child care sites for essential first-responders and health care workers. 
  • Established city and county space to provide mobile bathrooms and handwashing stations to support the safety and wellness of unsheltered residents. 
  • Working with the City’s Housing Redevelopment Authority, the City launched the Saint Paul Bridge Fund providing an initial $3.25 million in grants for Saint Paul families and small businesses who need it most. 
  • Created a new Language Line to provide COVID-related information for people who speak Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Oromo, and Karen.  
  • Provided economic relief from several city fees, fines, collections and assessments for both residents and businesses.   
  • Developed creative online and virtual parks and zoo programs, as well as curbside pick up, digital access and programming with libraries, allowing people of all ages to enjoy the City’s resources. 

Digital Roundtables 

Mayor Carter and the Racial Equity Work Group are convening digital roundtables that will bring together leaders in our community, along with public health, public policy, community service, and community empowerment advocates to advance an equitable COVID-19 response in our community. Conversations have centered around emerging national data on the disproportionate impact COVID-19 and actions we can take together to help prevent these disparities in Saint Paul.